Bolangir: Tensions flared in this town after a roadside vegetable seller became senseless after being beaten up by a municipality officer Monday. The victim was identified as Rajesh Meher, a resident of Chandanbhati village. Four other vegetable sellers also suffered the ire of the officer.
According to a source, some municipality officers and policemen were patrolling the area to see if COVID-19 rules were violated. Seeing some vegetable sellers sitting by the roadside, the officers asked them to shift to a different location.
A heated argument started between the officials and the vegetable vendors on this issue. During the argument an official lost his cool and allegedly slapped five of the vendors. Rajesh, who was also slapped, became unconscious.
Seeing the vegetable vendor lying unconscious, the officer who was involved in the slapping made himself scarce. The incident triggered tension among the vegetable sellers. They lodged a report at the town police station. The agitating vendors threatened that they would gherao the municipality office if no action is taken against the guilty officer. They also took the matter up with MLA Narasingha Mishra. Later, Mishra held a discussion with police officials and pacified the vegetable sellers, assuring them justice.