Raising voice against the blatant attack by Biju Janata Dal (BJD) workers on October 22, several workers of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) on Monday staged a massive demonstration in Baripada. However, the situation turned ugly after the protestors placed a placard near Biju Patnaik's statue.
As reported earlier, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik was on a visit to Mayurbhanj district on Friday (October 22). Patnaik was in Baripada town to attend a programme where he was scheduled to distribute smart health cards under the Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana.
However, some Opposition party workers managed to breach the security arrangements and reached the helipad to show black flags to Patnaik. Following which, BJD workers present at the spot assaulted two activists of JMM and BJP. The ruling party workers chased and attacked the other protesting political party workers. The duo sustained multiple injuries on the face and was immediately escorted out from the spot.
Protesting the incident, hundreds of JMM workers today used placards with slogans against BJD during their agitation and placed them near Biju Patnaik's statue. Even though the police were present at the spot, it has been alleged that it did not stop the protesters.
Meanwhile, a youth leader of the BJD intervened in the protest and threw the placard from the base of the statue.
"Everyone has the right to demonstrate under a democratic government. Staging a peaceful protest is not unlawful as per constitutional law. When Biju Patnaik was the Chief Minister of Odisha, he used to step out from his car to discuss with the protestors when he was shown black flags. He tried to understand their issue but what Naveen Patnaik and his party workers are doing is 'Gundaraj'. Biju Babu wouldn't have tolerated such atrocity in his reign" said Arjuna Murmu, Youth President of JMM who was leading the protest.
On the other hand, the demonstration has triggered massive criticism from the ruling party. BJD leader Jitendra Mohanty said, "It is their right to demonstrate protest and observe 'bandh' as per democratic rights. But, hitting Biju Patnaik's statue with slippers and raising slogans with placards is maligning his stature which is condemnable. We protest such despicable acts."