Death of two youths in accident triggers protest

Tense moments: Irate villagers blocking NH 217 in front of Sadar PS in Berhampur on Tuesday following an accident that killed two persons near Kukudakhandi.   | Photo Credit: - Photo: Lingaraj Panda

Staff Reporter

Villagers block traffic on NH 217 demanding compensation

BERHAMPUR: A young technocrat and his younger brother from Masiakhali village on the outskirts of the city were run over by a passenger bus near Budhighara temple on NH 217 at wee hours of Tuesday.

The angry villagers of Masiakhali gheraoed the Sadar police station in the city and resorted to blockade of the highway demanding compensation for the bereaved families. First they blocked the NH 217 near their village for a short period during early morning.

At around 11a.m. the villagers reached the Sadar police station in the city to gherao it. They also blocked the NH 217 that passes in front of the police station.

The villagers demanded compensation worth Rs. 10 lakh for the family of the youths killed in the accident and strict action against the driver of the bus.

The deceased were Harekrushna Pradhan (23) and Bhikari Pradhan (18). Both had started for Daringbadi in Kandhamal district on a bike for some family work.

A passenger bus travelling from Baliguda in Kandhamal district to Berhampur had ran over them near the Budhighara temple.

Harekrushna had completed his diploma and had got a job offer from a firm in Mumbai. Bhikari was a student of +2 science in the Kukudakhandi college.

The road blockade and police station gherao continued till 1.30 p.m. Armed police had to be deployed to check escalation of tension.

The Sub-divsional Police Officer (SDPO), B.G.Mohanty, president of the Ganjam District Bus Owners’ Association and MLA of Sanakhemundi, Ramesh Jena reached the spot to hold discussions and pacify the mob.

The villagers could be pacified to end the blockade of the National Highway.

The bus owners association promised to provide some financial help to the bereaved family from the Association funds as well as from the owner of the bus apart from the accident insurance claim.

According to the SDPO, the driver and conductor of the bus have been arrested.

Police also filed a case against the inhabitants of Masiakhali for disrupting general traffic on the NH 217 by their agitation.