10 cops hurt in Puri bandh over queue system

first_imgAt least 10 policemen were injured when protesters resorted to violence to enforce a day-long bandh in Puri on Wednesday in protest against the introduction of a queue system for darshan in the Jagannath temple.The bandh, called by Jagannath Sena, a Puri-based social-cultural organisation, turned violent when a large number of protesters uprooted the barricades put up to facilitate the entry of devotees into the temple through the main entrance in a queue.The Jagannath Sena had called for a bandh after the temple administration introduced the queue system on Monday on an experimental basis. The protest was supported by sections of temple servitors.The police had a tough time in controlling the situation as the violence escalated after the organisation convener Priyadarshan Patnaik was taken into custody in the morning as a preventive measure.House ransacked The protesters, who burnt tyres at several locations on the Grand Road to block traffic, also ransacked the house of local Biju Janata Dal legislator and State Revenue Minister Maheswar Mohanty.They also hurled stones at the official residence of the Superintendent of Police and vandalised the office of Shree Jagannath Temple administration. Many valuables were allegedly looted by the agitators from the temple office.The agitators also damaged a police outpost and an information centre outside the temple as well as the Town police station, prompting the police to resort to a mild lathi-charge and tear gas lobbing to control the situation. Several police vehicles were damaged.The Puri police later conducted a flag march on the Grand Road in order to bring the situation under control. Senior administration and police officials also reached the spot to defuse the tension.The devotees had a difficult time during the day till normality was restored in and around the temple complex. As many as 26 platoons of police personnel were deployed in the town to restore peace.Director-General of Police Rajendra Prasad Sharma, who reviewed the situation, said that administration will soon be holding talks where all outstanding issues will be discussed to restore peace.last_img

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