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Murder outburst stalls traffic

Bhubaneswar, Jan. 21: Relatives and family members of Kartik Pradhan, who was murdered yesterday near Uttara, today staged a blockade with his body and disrupted traffic on NH-203, which connects Cuttack to Puri.

They demanded immediate arrest of the persons who have been accused of murdering Pradhan.

Pradhan, 22, was a resident of Mughalpur village within the limits of Pipili police station. Some villagers of the neighbouring Madhupur killed him with sharp weapons while he was returning home with two others on Sunday afternoon.

Police said that the killing was the fallout of a longstanding tussle between two villages over acquisition of illegal sand quarries on the Bhargavi riverbank. Following the murder, tension erupted in the area as villagers from both sides hurled bombs at each other. They did not even allow the police to take Pradhan’s body from the spot. The police had to wait till this morning to recover it.

As the incident had occurred in Balipatna police station area, Pradhan’s body was brought to Capital Hospital for post-mortem. About 200 villagers of Mughalpur staged a blockade on the highway near Uttara keeping his body on the road for more than two hours.

The blockade affected hundreds of people, mostly tourists visiting to Puri, as vehicles were stranded on both sides of the road. The blockade was lifted only after senior police officers rushed to the spot and assured the agitators of speedy action against the accused persons.