Baripada, Oct 23 (LocalWire): The family of a man who was allegedly beaten to death by forest officials on Friday, demonstrated in front of the Podadiha forest office for several hours, demanding the arrest of the forest personnel involved.
The deceased was identified as Gajendra Naik, 40, of Nachhipur village within Kaptipada police limits.
Binodini Naik, wife of the deceased, said that her husband had gone to the nearby forest to collect leaves three days ago and had not returned since.
A day after he went missing, forest officials had intimated her about her husband who had been admitted in PRM MCH. He was shifted to Cuttack SCB Medical College in Cuttack a day after the incident.
On Thursday, he died under treatment at the hospital. Later, the body was brought to Kaptipada after the autopsy.
Family members and villagers took the mortal remains of the man and placed it at the main entrance of the forest office on a cot, from midnight of Thursday till 2 pm on Friday and demanded the immediate arrest of the culprit officers who had beaten the man to death.
Binodini lodged a complaint on e-Grievance on the day of the accident, following which a UD case was registered.
When contacted, Deputy Director of Similipal Tiger Reserve, Jagyandatta Pati said that forest personnel traced the man to Bhanjabasa, whence they took him to Udala hospital and later shifted him to PRM MCH when his condition deteriorated.
When contacted, IIC of Kaptipada Sanjay Kumar Pradhan informed that the preliminary investigation revealed that more than eight people of Nachhipur village had gone to Bhanjabasa, the core area of Similipal, for poaching.
When the poachers faced the forest personnel on their way home with an elk, they scattered.
Gajendra was injured after falling into a well in the forest.
The tension was dissipated after the forest officials provided a sum of Rs. 5000 to the kin of the deceased for the cremation rituals. The investigation into the incident is underway, said the IIC.