The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Macabre politics

Bhubaneswar, Sept. 25: Political rivalry in Orissa’s Melamba village of Nayagarh district has claimed another victim — whose fingers were chopped off and eyes gouged out.

In a village with a history of political rivalry, the perpetrators were said to be from the Congress and the victim, Banamali Nayak, was a Biju Janata Dal worker.

Nayak was riding his cycle to Nayagarh market on yesterday morning when a group attacked him. As a savaged Banamali writhed in pain, his brother Kuber and three other BJD supporters working in the nearby fields rushed to his aid. They, too, were attacked.

Banamali, Kuber and the others were rescued by a group of fellow party supporters and rushed to Nayagarh hospital. The brothers were shifted to Cuttack after their condition worsened.

District superintendent of police B.B. Kundu said 31 people have been arrested. The main culprit, however, is at large, he said. Nayak is said to have triggered a division of the village along political lines decades ago when he led 12 families to the former Janata Dal. As many as 130 families in the village were reportedly Congress supporters.

Later, with the emergence of the BJD, several incidents of violence occurred in the village between supporters of the ruling party and the Congress.

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