BHUBANESWAR: Tension prevailed at Malipada village in Khurda on Wednesday as irate villagers demolished a boundary wall on a government land, which was sold to a Delhi-based charitable organization in 2002.
The villagers were miffed at the government's move and said they had been protecting the land by planting trees on it.
Taking a cue from last week's instance of some villagers razing down unauthorized boundary wall on a forest land in Chandaka, the Malipada villagers vented their ire on the charitable trust's employees, who were present in a temporary building on the land. An irate mob chased them away and set the house on fire.
As they started demolishing the boundary wall, police reached the spot and prevented them from taking law into their hands.
Locals allegedly attacked police. "Three of our constables were injured in the clash. We have registered a case against more than 50 people. They will be arrested for causing violence and misbehaving with police," said SP (Khurda) Dilip Kumar Das.
While police were unable to say which government agency had sold the land, locals said the 62 acre belongs to Jagannath Temple Administration, Puri. "Our village committee had been looking after the temple land. We had started plantation on it. But the temple sold the land to the trust without our knowledge," said Nabakishore Baliyarsingh, a villager. "We have been opposing the temple's decisions since long," he added.
Last week, police had arrested five villagers for opposing construction of the boundary wall by the trust.
Jagannath Temple's chief administrator Arvind Padhee said, "I will find out whether the land belongs to the temple."