Mrunal Manmay Dash

The Opposition including the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress launched protests at separate places on Wednesday demanding resignation and arrest of Odisha Mass Education Minister Sameer Ranjan Dash over Dharmendra Sahoo suicide case.

While the BJP protested at Jayashri square by burning tyres and blocking the Nimapara-Pipili and Nimapara-Balipatna road, the Congress gheraoed the official residence of Dash in Bhubaneswar.

As per reports, the Congress protest in particular became violent after the police tried to stop them from storming the residence of the minister resulting in a scuffle between the members and student Congress and the police.

Speaking to reporters, State Student Congress President, Yasser Nawaz said, “CM Naveen Patnaik is shielding Sameer Dash. He (Dash) has lost his moral right to sit on that chair. It is clear now that Dash is responsible for Dharmendra Sahoo’s suicide. We warn the government, if they do not take action against Dash, we will intensify our agitation.”

Similarly, the BJP upped the ante against the State government by resorting to road blockade. Members of the saffron party burnt tyres at Jayashri square in Nimapara disrupting communication to Balipatna and Pipili.

Manas Pradhan, President, Nimapara BJP said, “Dharmendra Sahoo’s last phone call to his friend explains it all. He has accused Sameer Dash and five others of harassing him. So, the government should bring Dash under the purview of investigation after removing him from the post.”

It is pertinent to mention here that BJP leader Pravati Parida had released an audio clip of deceased ZP member Dharmendra Sahoo on Tuesday night wherein Sahoo can be heard saying that for Minister Samir Ranjan Dash he would end his life. During the purported telephonic conversation, Sahoo named seven persons including Minister Dash, his wife and father-in-law as responsible for him taking the extreme step.

Meanwhile, Sameer Dash’s father-in-law, Duhsasana Swain termed the allegations made by Sahoo in his last phone call as a crazy. Speaking to OTV over phone, Swain said, “Sahoo was drunk while speaking on the phone. He was mentally unstable. I cannot be held responsible for what a mad man said while being drunk. However, I will support the police if they question me regarding this. The law should take its course.”