Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Union Minister of Education Dharmendra Pradhan on Wednesday lambasted Odisha Police and State administration while alleging them of saving the neck of Chilika MLA Prashant Jagdev who has been arrested for deliberately plowing his car into a crowd at Banapur in  Khordha district leaving more than 25 people injured a few weeks ago.

In a series of tweets Pradhan slammed Odisha Police for keeping the people of the State in dark.

“People of the State have seen Jagdev driving his vehicle and ramming it into a gathering of people through various media broadcasts. The number of the car was visible in the video. The police had taken suomoto cognizance of the incident and lodged an FIR. However, a different number of the vehicle has been mentioned in the FIR,” tweeted Pradhan.

“This kind of act by State police is only to fool the people and it should not happen in a civilised society. Odisha Police and administration are trying to protect the tainted MLA. Frequently safeguarding the leaders indulging in criminal and violent activities in a peaceful State like Odisha is not acceptable,” Pradhan mentioned in his another tweet.

Expressing his dissatisfaction over the development, the Union Minister further said that Jagdev's act was to intentionally hurt innocent people and on duty police personnel which was extremely sad and heart-breaking.

“The inhuman incident has hurt the people of the State deeply,” he said adding that ruling Biju Janta Dal-sponsored criminal activities are increasing in the State on a daily basis much like in the neighbouring West Bengal. Odisha is going Bengal way as the ruling BJD is promoting violence," the Pradhan wrote in his Twitter page.

Meanwhile, responding to Pradhan’s statements, BJD Organisational Secretary Pranab Prakash Das said that a fake number plate was used in the vehicle in Banpur incident and MLA Jagdev has been charged with forgery.

Taking a dig Pradhan, Das termed his 'Odisha going Bengal way' comment as condemnable and said while violence and deterioration of law and order is on rise in various BJP ruled States like UP and Bihar, it is a shame that a peaceful State like Odisha be compared with them. 

(Edited by Suryakant Jena)