Amid protest, Bhadra guesthouse turns to dust in Jajpur


Jajpur: The Jajpur district administration on Friday demolished the guesthouse of Rupesh Bhadra, where the village level worker and panchayat extension officer Smitarani Biswal was found dead on October 16, amidst protests from Bhadra’s wife and Haridaspur Sarpanch Madhusmita Bhadra and their supporters.

Two JCB machines were used to raze the two-storied building. The demolition drive was carried out amid strong protest from Madhusmita, and her supporters who initially staged demonstration in front of the guesthouse by not allowing the enforcement authorities to reach near the illegal structure.

Later, a large posse of policemen were called and deployed along with Additional District Magistrate, Sub-Collector and Dharmasala Tehsildar after which the demolition drive could began.

Bhadra’s wife decried the administration’s action and wanted to know why the latter failed to touch illegal constructions in nearby areas.

Bhadra, considered to have close links with the ruling BJD leadership, had constructed the guesthouse on two plots – 290 and 291 – in an area measuring 17 decimal in Baligari under Dharmasala tehsil. At least four out of the 17 decimal is forest land and the rest is Anabadi Kisam (status) illegally in 2017.

Bhadra is now lodged in jail for alleged complicity in the death of Smitarani. Following the death of Smitarani, the district administration had sealed the guesthouse.

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