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Clashes mark Naveen’s visit to Brahmagiri

Special Correspondent

Over 50 persons, including 15 policemen, injured in clash



Chief Minister had gone there to lay the foundation stone for a canal system

Thirty persons taken into custody



BHUBANESWAR: More than 50 persons, including 15 policemen, were injured when hundreds of Congress workers and villagers clashed with the police during Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s visit to Brahmagiri area of Puri district on Thursday.

Many of the injured persons, including the injured policemen, were rushed to the district headquarters hospital at Puri. Two members of the public who sustained severe injuries were taken to SCB Medical College and Hospital at Cuttack.

The incident took place at around 12.30 p.m. when the policemen deployed at Brahmagiri main bazaar prevented the crowd from proceeding towards the venue of the function that the Chief Minister attended near Badabandhakera village.

The Chief Minister had gone to the area to lay the foundation stone for a canal system on the Gobardhanpur barrage that was built a few years ago.

Shortcomings

The Congress workers wanted to hand over a memorandum to the Chief Minister about the shortcomings of the barrage and the problems facing the farmers in the area, sources said.

Sensing trouble the administration had deployed a large number of policemen at Brahmagiri main bazaar area to prevent any untoward incident during Mr. Patnaik’s visit.

Lathicharge



The police, however, failed to control the situation when some members of the gathering started pelting stones at them and raised slogans against the Chief Minister. The police resorted to lathicharge and also fired teargas shells to control the crowd.

In fact, the Chief Minister’s cavalcade was to pass through the Brahmagiri bazar.

But he was taken to the venue of the function on a different route as the Congress workers had gathered at the bazar.

The clash continued for nearly three hours as the policemen continued their effort to keep prevent the crowd from marching towards Gobardhanpur barrage. .

The foundation stone laying ceremony, however, passed off peacefully and a large number of people and Biju Janata Dal supporters attended the meeting.

The top officials of the district reached the spot soon after the clash.

By evening 30 people were taken into custody on the charges of preventing police from discharging their duty.

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