Vikash Sharma

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday tried to corner the Odisha government by once again raking up Kalahandi lady teacher Mamita Meher murder case ahead of the crucial Panchayat polls in the State.

Alleging that the State government has failed to provide justice to the deceased lady teacher, hundreds of BJP activists took out a massive march to Naveen Niwas, the official residence of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in Bhubaneswar. However, the activists were stopped by the police near Sishu Bhawan chhak, leading to a scuffle.

Palpable tension prevailed at the spot for quite some time after the BJP workers and leaders alleged misbehaviour and police excess during their peaceful demonstration. A woman activist fainted during the demonstration. She was immediately shifted to a nearby hospital.

The BJP leaders said that the Odisha Police has failed to take action against Minister Divya Shankar Mishra whose complicity was alleged in the Mamita Meher murder case.

“We were staging a peaceful demonstration and wanted to question the CM as to why his government has failed to give justice to the deceased teacher’s family. However, before that the police forcibly detained us,” said Babu Singh, Bhubaneswar District BJP president.

Senior BJP leader Lekhashree Samantsinghar said, “For over 120 days no chargesheet has been filed against the accused in the case. It clearly shows how serious is the government to ensure justice to the victim. Rather, today the police misbehaved with us during our protest.”

Lekhashree further alleged that though four months have passed since the brutal murder of the lady teacher took place, justice is yet to be delivered. “The State government failed to arrest the Minister and submit the charge sheet against accused Gobinda Sahu. Instead of taking action to give justice to the deceased teacher’s family, the government is trying to suppress our voices,” she added.

It is pertinent to mention here that Mamita Meher (24), a resident of Jharni village under Turekela block of Odisha’s Bolangir district, who worked as a teacher at the Sunshine English Medium School at Mahaling in Kalahandi district, had gone missing on October 8, 2021.

On October 19, her body was exhumed from an under-construction stadium at Mahaling.

The incident then had triggered State-wide outrage and took a political turn after Opposition Congress and BJP alleged the involvement of Minister of State for Home Dibya Shankar Mishra for his close proximity with the prime accused Gobinda Sahu who was subsequently arrested by the police.