12 More Arrested In Puri Violence Case

Puri: The Simhadwara Police on Saturday arrested 12 more people for their alleged involvement in the violence in Puri on October 3.

The arrests were made on the basis of the CCTV footage.

Of the 12 arrested persons, some of them have been identified as ‘gumasta’ (agents) engaged in contacting and bring the devotees from other states to the Jagannath temple.

Prior to the arrest of these 12 persons, the Town Police had arrested 11 persons in this connection on October 4. With this, the total number of arrest has gone up to 23.

Sources said that about 20-25 persons are being interrogated in the Town Police Station for their involvement in the violence.

The Simhadwara Police had registered nine cases and the Town Police had registered six cases after some hooligans went on a rampage and ransacked the assets of the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) and several government properties.

Notably, the Jagannath Sena had given the Puri bandh call on October 3 protesting against the dhadi darshan (queue system) introduced by the SJTA on the directive of the Supreme Court.

The bandh took a violent turn after the police picked up Priyadarshan Patnaik, convener of the Jagannath Sena from his house.

The protesters, apart from ransacking the SJTA office, also damaged the assets of local MLA and minister Maheswar Mohanty in his house and pelted the official residence of Puri SP Sarthak Sarangi with stones.

Police later resorted to lathi-charge to disperse the protesters.

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