Mrunal Manmay Dash

The youth wing of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) hit streets in Bhubaneswar on Friday demanding the resignation of Odisha Cabinet Minister Pratap Jena after a court ordered the police to investigate allegations of the Minister’s role in the sensational Mahanga double murder case.

Led by Bhubaneswar District president Babu Singh, the protesters assembled at the busy Master Canteen Square in the State Capital and raised slogans demanding the immediate ouster of Jena.

Singh told reporters, “It is unfortunate that the charge sheet in the murder case does not have Pratap Jena’s name in it. There are other ministers in Odisha who are directly or indirectly involved in other murder cases too.”

He said as the Law Minister of the State Jena should help the common man to get justice. “Instead, he himself is breaking the law,” Singh said adding, “We are here to protest Jena’s shielding by the government in the double murder case.”

It is pertinent to mention here that following a protest petition by Ramakanta Baral, son of the deceased BJP leader Kulamani Baral who was murdered along with his associate in Mahanga last year, the First Class Judicial Magistrate (JMFC) court at Salipur on Thursday directed the Inspector-In-Charge (IIC) of Mahanga Police Station to conduct a thorough investigation into the allegations made against Jena in the sensational case.

In the order, the court stated that the complainant (Ramakanta Baral) had lodged an FIR against 13 persons on January 3, 2021, at the Mahanga PS under Arms Act. Thereafter, the charge sheet was filed against 12 accused persons except Pratap Jena against whom the protest petition has been filed by Baral.