Odisha Govt’s Incompetence Proven In Hanuman Jayanti Violence, Says Dharmendra

Bhubaneswar: Amid 48-hour suspension of internet to prevent further communal flare-up in Odisha’s SambalpurUnion Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Thursday said that the incident further corroborated the allegation of deteriorating law and order situation in the state.

“Hanuman Jayanti is celebrated with great enthusiasm in Sambalpur and the violence during the preparatory rally was uncalled for. Police and public were injured in yesterday’s incident. It shows the incompetency of the state government. It proved that law and order situation is not good in the state,” he said.

The BJP has long been targeting the BJD over the alleged slide in the law and order following the death Health Minister Naba Kishore Das, who was shot dead by an assistant inspector of police on January 29, and the kidnap-murder of a 15-year-old boy Samarth Agrawal at Jharsuguda last month.

The Union Minister further urged people to maintain peace.

Talking of the upcoming bypoll, Dharmendra said that three young leaders are making their debut in the assembly election. “This is a good sign for Odisha politics. Why bypoll is being held in Jharsuguda, itself is the main issue now. It is unfortunate that bypoll was necessitated by the murder of Cabinet Minister Naba Das by a police officer. The death of the minor boy is the other issue,” he added.

The BJD, on the other hand, urged Dharmendra not to politicise such sensitive law and order situation of Odisha. “Such law and order situation are much more in BJP-ruled states like Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and even in Madhya Pradesh from where you are elected to Rajya Sabha. Such incidents are sensitive matters and should be dealt with restraint. All necessary steps have been taken to ensure normalcy and peace which is evident to everybody. As a responsible Minister in the Central Government, it would have been appropriate if you had appealed to the people to maintain peace instead of politicising the matter,” said BJD spokesperson Shreemayee Mishra.

According to sources, Sambalpur police will conduct a flag march at 5 pm from Zilla School Chhak to Gengutipali via Motijharan to instil confidence among the people. “Processions will be taken out from different places from 7 pm tomorrow. Discussion with different committees has been fruitful. They have promised all cooperation,” said Sambalpur Collector Ananya Das.

Police have detained 24 people and they are being questioned in connection with the incident.

Meanwhile, Hanuman Jayanti Coordination Committee has called for 36-hour bandh in Sambalpur Town starting 3 pm to protest against the violence during bike rally. Sambalpur district BJP unit has extended support to the bandh call, sources said.

Prohibitory orders were clamped in all six police station areas in the district after clashed erupted between two groups and intense stone pelting left 10 police personnel, including one woman cop, injured on Wednesday evening.  The violence erupted when stones were thrown at the motorbike rally of Hanuman Jayanti Samanwaya Samiti while the procession was at Motijharan, en route to Dhankauda from Bhutapara Chhak. A shop and a two-wheeler was set on fire and several other vehicles were damaged.

Sub-divisional Magistrate and sub-collector, Sadar Sambalpur, Pravas Chandra Dandasebna, later issued a notification saying gathering of more than two people is not allowed.

The motorbike rally, which is held two days before Hanuman Jayanti, has been taking the same route for last 17 years, Sambalpur SP Batulla Gangadhar said. In Odisha, the festival is celebrated on Maha Vishuva Sankranti, which falls on April 14 this year.

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

Comments are closed.