Archana Honeytrap Scandal: Opposition Alleges Bid To Protect BJD Leaders; Odisha Minister Terms It Baseless

Bhubaneswar: Stepping up their attack on Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik over Archana Nag’s honeytrap scandal, opposition BJP and Congress on Monday questioned his silence on the case and sought to know if bigwigs involved in it are being protected.

Opposition Chief Whip Mohan Majhi and Congress stalwart Narasingha Mishra, who had earlier demanded Naveen’s resignation over Archana issue, alleged that attempts are on to hush up the case as several BJD leaders including Ministers are stated to be involved.

Refuting the opposition allegation, Minister of State for Home Tusharkanti Behera said the government never protects criminals and the charges are baseless.

Archana and her husband Jagabandhu Chand have been already been arrested in two cases, the Minister said during a discussion on an adjournment motion on the issue.

Stating that law is above all, Behera said the Chief Minister has always emphasised on the rule of law. Whoever may be the criminal, or how powerful he or she may be, action has been taken against him or her in this government as per law, he said.

After attacking the government over Archana’ blackmailing scandal, Majhi told reporters outside the House that the Chief Minister’s silence on the issue creates suspicion.

Claiming that Ministers and MLAs of the ruling BJD and government officers are involved in Archana’s money laundering case being investigated by the Enforcement Department now, Majhi alleged that photos of 64 persons have been traced from the blackmailer’s mail ID.

Five dairies and four laptops containing data have also been seized, but  efforts have been made by the state government to protect the accused persons, Majhi alleged and sought to know if the police is cooperating with the ED in investigation.

The senior BJP leader demanded that the Chief Minister attend the Assembly and give a reply on Archana issue.

Mounting a scathing attack on the Chief Minister, Narasingha Mishra also raised questions on his silence and sought to know as to why police have not yet interrogated any bigwig involved in the sensational case.

Alleging that dfforts are on to hush up the case to protect high-profile people, the Congress veteran soght a clarification from the government on Archana sex scandal said the Chief Minister should resign forthwith.

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