Berhampur: At a time when the entire administration has been pressed into service to deal with COVID-19 pandemic in Odisha, a Block Development Officer (BDO) was allegedly manhandled by a group of youngsters for stopping them from playing cricket match here in red zone Ganjam district.
The incident occurred at Telugu Nuagaon under Chhatrapur Block.
According to reports, defying social distancing guidelines, some youth were playing cricket at a ground at Telugu Nuagaon on Wednesday. Chhatrapur BDO Ambika Prasad Dash, who had visited a COVID quarantine centre to monitor situation, found the youngsters engaged in the game flouting lockdown rules.
He reprimanded the youth playing cricket and ordered them to go home. Instead of paying heed to his order, the law defying youth indulged into argument with the COVID-19 on-duty official. During the period, one of the youth heckled and pushed him for restricting them from playing cricket.
On receiving information, Ganjam Police reached the spot and escorted the BDO to his office.
Based on the written complaint by the BDO, a case has been registered against the accused persons.
However, BDO Dash denied to make any statement over the matter.
As per lockdown guidelines, any kind of game and sports is not allowed to contain spread of coronavirus infections in the community. Earlier, there were reports from Kalahandi and Bhadrak districts where two youth were found positive for COVID-19 after coming in contact with infected persons while playing cricket.
It is worth mentioning that Ganjam district has been classified as the red zone following steep hike in COVID-19 positive cases in just a few weeks. The number of cases in the district has surged into 317 with 182 active cases out of total 1103 cases in Odisha so far and three patients have died of the disease.