Dhenkanal, India: Mr Anil Hota of Ichchbatipur, under Baruna gram panchayat, in Kamakshanagar subdivision, was carrying a palm leaf sheet over his head, while moving around in the village today.

Scorching heat, is not the only reason for such protective measures adopted by Mr Anil and other villagers, as all of them resort to leaf sheets or umbrellas, at the dead of the night, these days too. Much to the disbelief of the outsiders, the villagers of Ichchbatipur claim that, for last few days they have been witnessing bizarre and mysterious incidents like dropping of stone pieces and splinters from above and other directions.

Hence, it was no surprise that at the Pandua outpost and Kamakshanagar police station police officers, were taken aback yesterday when the villagers came in large numbers and narrated the "disturbance" in the village, which is taking place from Saturday night, while requesting them to take "necessary action". The police, however, were helpless too and could do nothing except visiting the village and starting an inquiry.

Saturday night was as like any other night for Mr Hemant Mohapatra. But at about 12, his slumber was disturbed by a strange sound. He woke up and realized that stone pieces were falling on his roof. Though, he immediately could not figure out what exactly had happened or who was doing it, he saw similar "attack" on the verandah and roof of many neighbours. They too could not understand what was happening and with utter disbelief, fear and confusion, all started searching for any clue, but in vain.

Mr Srikant Hota, a fellow villager informed the curious and confused neighbours that one big stone had fallen from above injuring him. He showed the injuries marks on his body.

As the news spread in the morning, thousands of people from nearby areas rushed to the village. Though the whole incident is still wrapped in mystery, the villagers preferred to remain indoors.

"We searched extensively for the origin of the stones, but found no answer for the mystery," said Mr Hemant Mohapatra, who has sustained injuries.
Many villagers feel that it is a supernatural phenomenon, while some maintain that this was the handwork of a sorcerer. Kamakshanagar MLA, Mr Prafulla Mallick, visited the village and discussed with the residents yesterday.

Meanwhile, the villagers are getting ready to offer mass prayer before Lord Hanuman, seeking divine intervention to ward off the evil power.