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Police station ransacked

FURY UNLEASHED: The vandalised Purighat police station in Cuttack on Tuesday. Telegraph picture

Cuttack: A demonstration by Congress activists protesting against arrest of a party worker turned violent on Tuesday as they gate-crashed into Purighat police station and ransacked it.

Over a hundred Congress workers, led by city Congress president Md Moquim, reached the police station around 11am and started picketing before it. They parked two-wheelers, blocking the road near the police station and burned tyres as part of their agitation.

The Congress activists were peeved as Purighat police had taken into custody a party worker, Bijaya Kumar Barik of Bakhrabad, earlier in the day around 8am. They were demanding release of Barik.

Sources said the demonstration turned violent when inspector-in-charge Rashmi Ranjan Sahoo said release of the accused was not possible at this stage.

A number of Congress workers then forcibly entered the police station and ransacked it. The violence had continued for several minutes.

Moquim alleged that the arrest was "arbitrary and irrational". "Besides, the nonchalant response to party workers, including the elected representatives, aggravated the situation," Moquim said, adding that "if the elected representatives get such response from the police, what about the general public".

However, deputy commissioner of police Akhileswar Singh said: "The Congress workers' demand was unreasonable as the arrest of Bijaya Kumar Barik was part of a routine drive for implementing the pending arrest warrants."

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