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Police begin probe into palm chop case

Bhubaneswar, Dec. 17: Police today started investigation into the case of the chopping of palms of two labourers from Kalahandi district.

A manhunt has been launched to nab the culprits.

Inspector general of police in charge of the southwestern range, Yashwant Kumar Jethwa, who visited Kalahandi today, said three squads had been constituted to unearth the labour racket and nab the accused persons involved in the brutal act.

“Raids are being conducted in and outside the district. The culprits have been identified and will be arrested soon,” said Jethwa.

The middleman of a Raipur-based labour contractor allegedly chopped off the right palms of Nilambar Dhangada Majhi, 23, and Pialu Dhangada Majhi, 25, of Nuaguda village under Jaipatna police station of Kalahandi district, when they refused to go for work as bonded labourers in Chhattisgarh’s capital Raipur.

The two labourers were rushed to the district headquarters hospital at Bhawanipatna after they were spotted at the bus stand yesterday. Later, they were shifted to VSS Medical College and Hospital at Burla.

Kalahandi superintendent of police Sarthak Sarangi said a case had been registered and a manhunt had been launched to nab the absconding culprits. “Of the three search squads, one has been sent to Nuapada and another to Jaypatna, from where the two victims belong. The third squad has been deputed to Raipur to unearth the labour racket,” he said.

Police sources said a middleman from Sinapali of Nuapada district had hired a group of labourers from Kalahandi by paying an advance of Rs 14,000 each for paddy harvest work. However, the actual plan was to engage them at brick kilns in Raipur.

The labourers got wind of the plan and 12 of them managed to flee. The two victims were left behind. The enraged middlemen detained these two and threatened them with dire consequences if the others did not return. Later, the middleman and his associates chopped off the right palms of two labourers and fled.