Nitesh Kumar Sahoo

Protests over demands for justice to the family of slain Kalahandi lady teacher Mamita Murder turned violent after several workers of the Odisha Chhatra (student) Congress wrestled with the police before breaching the security cordon to reach the Odisha Assembly in Bhubaneswar, on Friday.

As per reports, the Congress workers had staged protests at lower PMG over the sensational murder case demanding justice to the bereaved family. 

However, the otherwise peaceful protests turned violent after the party workers breached the security cordon and tried to enter the Odisha Assembly. Many of the workers succeeded in reaching up to the gate of the Odisha Assembly where the winter session is in progress. Later, the workers got into a scuffle with the security men who tried to prevent them from trespassing into the Assembly premises.

The irate party workers also hurled eggs and tomatoes at the security forces during the scuffle. 

When the situation worsened, the security forces lathi (baton)-charged the protesters. Platoons of police chased the protesters into the Congress Bhawan while many of the workers ran inside the building for cover. 

Several Congress workers were injured during the lathi-charge and many have been arrested for breaching the security and creating disturbances in the high-security zone.

Moreover, the security forces allegedly beat up several others who had assembled in a meeting. 

Following the clashes, several Chhatra Congress workers staged a sit-in protest near Master Canteen square demanding stringent action against the police for using excessive force and brutality. The demonstrators have warned of continuing their protests until the policemen who thrashed the workers, causing injuries to them, were arrested.

Congress MLA Tara Bahinipati termed the incident as 'Police excess at the behest of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik'.

However, Bhubaneswar Deputy Commissioner Of Police, Umashankar Dash sought to dismiss the allegations and said that some Congress workers tried to set ablaze police vehicles and fire services personnel intervened in due time to prevent any untoward incident.