Ramakanta Biswas

There seems to be no end to the controversies surrounding the Kharasrota mega drinking water project in Kendrapara with the Congress party on Monday alleging that wrong charges were framed against those arrested for opposing the project. 

As many as 24 local residents were arrested for opposing the project under the aegis of Kharasrota Banchao Sangram Samiti (KBSS) on August 12.

Congress leader Devendra Sharma alleged that the two separate cases filed by police and the construction company respectively, in connection with the protest are not in accordance with the law. He also alleged discrepancies in the FIRs.  

"Two separate cases have been registered in connection with the August 12 protest. The protestors have been charged under Section 307 which is invoked in cases of grievous injury to vital body parts. The police personnel have to show they suffered injuries to which vital parts," said Sharma.

"There are inconsistencies in the FIRs filed by the police and the construction firm. While the police alleged that the protestors were near the barricade at 12.15 pm, the construction firm mentioned in the FIR that they were stealing property at the project site at the same time," he said.

He also wanted to know the people engaged in vandalism at the project site while the agitators were protesting on the road. 

"The goons of the ruling party must have been involved in the act," Sharma added.

Reacting to the allegations, Aul MLA Pratap Deb said, "The police have the video recording of Devendra Sharma engaged in vandalism. We have also visuals of people engaged in hooliganism."

"Was it a protest, or a vindictive as well as a well-planned approach to create law and order situation with the motive of strengthening the Congress party," Deb questioned.