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Vikash Sharma

After BJP, the Congress on Tuesday launched a scathing attack on the Odisha government over the tragic drain mishap in Bhubaneswar in which a 15-year-student was killed two days ago. The body of the deceased Class 10 student, Jyoti Prakash Behera, was recovered after a long search operation which continued for over 20 hours.

The students’ wing of the Congress today hit the streets of Bhubaneswar and staged a massive demonstration. Alleging that seven persons have been killed in several mishaps due to open drains since 2015 and no step has been taken to check the recurrence of such incidents, the activists burnt the posters of, Ministers- Pratap Jena, Ashok Panda and MLA Anant Narayan Jena as well as the BMC Commissioner as a symbolic protest.

Odisha Congress Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) president, Niranjan Patnaik alleged that such mishaps are recurring due to negligence and callous attitude of the State government. “Despite repeated causalities in several drain-related mishaps, the State government is yet to wake up from its slumber. Several drains are left open and inviting trouble during the rainy season. Permission is being granted for construction of houses without paying any attention towards basic needs including proper drainage systems which is unsound in technology,” said Patnaik.

On Sunday, the 15-year-old school student Jyoti went missing after falling into an open sewer in Bhubaneswar. His body was recovered the next day by fire services personnel after a prolonged search operation.

On Monday, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) members gheraoed the BMC office at Kalpana Square and demanded the arrest of the Commissioner.

President of the Bhubaneswar District BJP, Babu Singh said that deaths had become a regular occurrence in Bhubaneswar due to the BMC apathy. “We demand the arrest of the BMC Commissioner, Sanjay Singh and Rs 50 Lakh compensation to victim’s family,” he said.

Meanwhile, State government or BMC officials could not be contacted for reaction over the allegations levelled by the Congress party.

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