Nischintakoili: Palpable tension prevailed at Narendrapur village under this block in Cuttack district Monday when 12 people were rendered critical in a group clash between members of two communities over a trivial road mishap.
The injured were admitted to a local hospital as irate people demanding arrest of the accused blocked the Katikata-Jaipur road in the area.
Police rushed to the spot and tried to pacify people but members of both the communities pelted stones at each other.
A section of people burnt down a van of Nischintakoili police station. As many as five policemen were injured after irate people pelted stones and brickbats at them.
On being informed, fire personnel rushed to the spot and doused the fire from the burning van. Meanwhile, police detained four persons in this connection while the rural SP rushed to the spot with additional forces. The agitators refused to withdraw the road blockade and pelted stones at each other when reports last came in.
The row started when a trolley rickshaw of Biswanath Behera hit Sonu Behera at Gopal Sahi in Narendrapur village. This led to a fight between the two. Enraged, Sonu went to neighbouring Kakudiapada village and sought the help of some youths of a different community. Two youths responded to his call and assaulted Biswanath and his elderly father when locals intervened and overpowered them.
On being informed, the village head of Kakudiapada helped release the two youths from detention. Narendrapur sarpanch assured them that he would help resolve the problem peacefully.
A few hours later, hundreds of youths of Kakudiapada armed with sharp-edged weapons reached Gopal Sahi and assaulted whoever they found on their way.
They even assaulted and molested village women including pregnant women and broke their bangles before absconding. Geetanjali Behera, Padmini Behera, Phula Behera were rendered critical in the incident.