Prayer house dispute : Peace returning to Pradhanpada, 2 arrested

Reported by Simanchal Pattnaik

Phulbani, Mar 1 :

Peace is returning to Pradhanpada, a village under Khajuripada police limits in the communally sensitive Kandhamal district where tension prevailed after an under-construction prayer house was damaged by some miscreants on Saturday.

Peace meeting in presence of Phulbani MLA
Peace meeting in presence of Phulbani MLA

Two persons, Chakradhar Pradhan and Dussasan Sahani have been arrested for their role in fomenting tension in the area.

The Collector and SP today visited the spot and held discussions with the local villagers following which a peace committee has been formed in the village.

Earlier, on Saturday , Phulbani MLA Debendra Kanhar and sub-collector Santosh Naik reached the village and held a ‘peace meeting’ involving all villagers, including those from the minority community.

Reports said the incident had more to do with a family dispute involving the local Pastor and his son than any communal conflict. While the Pastor was opposed to the idea of building a prayer house on a disputed land, his son insisted on starting construction work. Two of the four families belonging to the minority community were also against the construction work, local sources said.

The matter has been amicably settled, sources said, adding,  the construction of the prayer house has been put on hold.

Two platoons of armed police (about 70 personnel) were deployed in the village as part of measures to prevent further trouble and to restore normalcy, a senior police officer said.

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