Odisha Police Let Off Man Who Threw Ink At 5T Secretary VK Pandian

Bhubaneswar: After a brief detention, Odisha police released Bhaskar Sahoo, allegedly involved in the ink attack on 5T Secretary VK Pandian and Puri Collector Samarth Verma in Puri’s Satyabadi, late Saturday night.

A resident of Haripur village under Kanas block in Satyabadi assembly segment area, Sahoo was let go after signing an undertaking that he would not repeat such acts in the future.

Pandian, a 2000-batch IAS officer and private secretary to Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik, was thrown ink at while attending an event at Utkalmani Gopabandhu Smruti Mahavidyalaya while on two-day visit to the district. He, however, went on meeting people while wearing the white shirt smeared with ink.

Notably, Chief Minister Naveen Patanik had asked police to drop all charges against a woman who hurled eggs at him in 2018.

The reason for the ink attack is not known. Sahoo’s wife had earlier told the media that he is an LIC agent and social activist. He had been campaigning against Gangua Nalal for several months and even approached Satyabadi MLA Umakanta Samantaray and the district collector for a solution to the perennial issue. He might have taken the step having failed to elicit any positive response from the administration. I am proud of my husband and support him,” she said, denying his allegiance to any party.

Notably, Satyabadi’s BJD MLA Umakanta Samantray had identified Sahoo as a BJP, which the saffron party rebuffed, saying that they openly oppose Pandian’s visit to various districts but don’t believe in such tactics.

The 5T Secretary, who is undertaking tours across Odisha on the direction of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to hear grievances of the people, had earlier faced black flag protests. The district administrations had then taken preventive steps to check such unsavoury incidents.

These trips by Pandian have assumed political significance with the state going to polls in 2024.


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