Sambalpur villagers see red over ‘rebel’ arrest

Sambalpur police have come under a cloud for allegedly arresting a 19-year-old boy on false charges of helping Maoist activities.

The teen, Rohit Chhuria alias Mithun, was arrested with two others from Jujomora police station area on charges of being involved in the ARSS crusher arson incident on October 25.

Mithun’s father Indra Chhuria said, “My son worked as a helper at a mobile phone tower near our village. He is sincere and god fearing. He can never be involved in Maoist activities.”

More than fifty villagers on Wednesday came to Sambalpur to meet the SP over the issue. They urged him to review the decision.

They alleged police are arresting innocent people one after another after the arson incident on October 25. Out of the five arrested recently, everybody except Mithun had been arrested earlier also. They were released later for lack of evidence against them.

“Since police are not able to arrest the real Maoists, they are harassing innocent people,” Lalit Bibhar of Kharsenmal village said. He added that Mithun was never involved in such activities at any point of time.

According to him, villagers came to meet the SP in such large numbers because every one knows Mithun was innocent and falsely implicated by the police.

SP Nikhil Kanodia refuted the allegations. “We have sufficient information and evidence about their direct and indirect involvement with the Maoists. They earn money by supporting extremist activities in the district. When there are hundreds of youths in the village we picked them because we have specific information,” he said.

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