TNI Bureau: Acute tension prevailed in Athagarh area of Cuttack district after an irate mob vandalised and set fire to a beat house at Banpur under Baramba range on Monday following the custodial death of an alleged elephant poacher.
Forest officials on Sunday had reportedly detained one Dhaneswar Behera of Satagochhia village under Baramba tehsil in connection with poaching of a elephant, carcass of which was spotted with a severed trunk and missing tusks from Haladiasuni reserve forest on January 30.
However, Behera died in the office of the forest department under mysterious circumstances.
When the news about Behera’s death spread in the area, some irate villagers staged a road blockade at Badabaharsingh road on Monday. Besides, they attacked the beat office and set it on fire.
The angry locals also detained at least 15 forest staff of the division including divisional forest officer (DFO) JD Pati and two assistant conservators of forest (ACFs) and a ranger.
Behera’s wife filed a case holding the 15 forest officials responsible for her husband’s death. Based on her complaint, a case has been registered under 302, 341, 294, 354 323, 365, 342 and other sections of IPC as well as the Atrocities Act.
On being informed, Athagarh SDPO Bijay Kumar Bisi, Baramba tehsildar and other senior officials rushed to the spot. Three platoons of police force were deployed to to maintain law and order.
The locals withdrew the roadblock after the forest officials reportedly agreed to pay Rs 5 lakh compensation to the family of the deceased and a job to his son.
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