Nitesh Kumar Sahoo

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)'s State President Samir Mohanty, on Tuesday called upon party workers, leaders as well as people across Odisha to lit one extra diya on Diwali this year as a symbolic gesture to demand justice for Mamita Meher and her family.

Quoting the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) report, the saffron party leader said cases of harassment of women in Odisha is higher as compared to the other states in the country. “Under the reign of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) government, women of Odisha are unsafe. We are fighting for Mamita and will continue to do so till justice is served,” he said.

"It's my request to over 1 crore Odia families in the State to lit one more diya this Diwali demanding justice for Mamita. I also urge every Odia residing in other states and overseas to join in for the cause by offering prayers for peace to her soul and justice for her family," said Mohanty.

On the other hand, Congress has threatened to observe Odisha Bandh on November 12. The Congress has warned of dire consequences if Chief Minister Patnaik dithers on dropping Minister of State for Home Dibya Shankar Mishra from the cabinet by November 10 for his alleged complicity in the murder of Mahaling (in Kalahandi) school teacher Mamita.

The Pradesh Congress Committee during a meeting has condemned the State government and CM Patnaik for their inaction against Mishra. Furthermore, the party has held Patnaik directly responsible for shielding the culprits.

"Respecting the Congress demands and to serve justice to the victim's family, the Odisha Government and CM Patnaik should sack Mishra as soon as possible and initiate legal proceedings against the Minister. If the demands are not fulfilled, Congress will observe Odisha Bandh on November 12," Ganeshwar Behera, Senior Congress leader, said.

As alleged by the Opposition, though there is ample evidence against Mishra, no case has yet been filed against him.

However, the ruling party's reaction over the allegations of the Opposition couldn't be obtained.