A day after the Minister of State for Home (MoH) Dibya Shankar Mishra opened up amid widespread protests seeking his resignation over allegations of his links with Gobinda Sahu, the mastermind in the murder of lady teacher Mamita, the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) finally broke its long silence on Saturday after facing a lot of criticism from the Opposition for staying mum over the accusations against its’ key Minister.
The rage of the sensational murder case as well as the Mahaling college mystery is spreading like wildfire across the State. The heinous crime has invoked political outrage across the State. Moreover, the Opposition has intensified its stir against the Odisha government by demanding the resignation, removal and arrest of Mishra.
Amid the rising protests against the government and the Minister, BJD spokesperson Pratap Deb during a presser on Saturday said, “If any party person is convicted for any crime, BJD will drop him/her. Such stringent actions have been taken earlier and will continue in future as well.”
Deb said, "Undoubtedly, a heinous crime has occurred. Minister Dibya Shankar Mishra has clarified his stand in his statement. As he has urged the Opposition that if the latter have any evidence against him proving his involvement in the case, then produce it before the police and file an FIR. Further, he has also asked the Opposition which have levelled charges of his involvement in the incident, to file an FIR against him at the Court if they don't have faith in the police. The Minister has also said that he is prepared to face action if he is proven guilty," said Pratap.
He went on to say, "Instead of defaming him (Mishra) in a media trial, he has asked all to move legally. However, the Opposition is politicising the case."
Lambasting at the Opposition, the BJD spokesperson said, "While the Opposition is accusing us of 'inaction' as the Panchayat Poll is inching close, we can also blame them for intensifying protests for the case as a political stunt with an eye on the elections. Trial by media won't solve the issue. Be it the law courts or police, everyone will adhere to the technical ways. Don't try to educate us about law or give threats of CBI," Deb said.
Reacting to accusation over the party's unwillingness to act against the Minister, Deb charged,” What actions have been taken against the Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra in Lakhimpur Kheri violence case in Uttar Pradesh?”
Recalling Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik's impartiality in rolling out justice, Deb said in the last 21 years the CM has passed many tests in such challenging times. He further stated that the guilty must be given out the strictest punishment as per law. “And it will be given,” he said.
"Earlier, CM Naveen Patnaik has sacked many who have been convicted in any crime. And this time too he won't spare anyone. The Opposition is holding press meets and observing 'bandhs'. It is unnecessary and condemnable. As the party spokesperson, I can affirm that my leader won't tolerate any nonsense and will take action after the accused is proven guilty," said Deb.