Ramakanta Biswas

The Lower PMG Square in Bhubaneswar on Tuesday virtually turned into a battlefield with a violent scuffle breaking out between supporters of BJP Yuva Morcha and police personnel during a protest over Naba Das murder case and alleged deterioration of law and order situation in the State.

Hundreds of supporters of BJP Yuva Morcha flooded the Lower PMG Square in order to take out a mega rally in protest against the alleged lawlessness in the State. The protestors were marching towards the Odisha Assembly which is in session now when the police personnel deployed there intercepted them.

Soon a scuffle broke out between the protestors and the police personnel. The police personnel later resorted to lathi charge to control the mob. Some protestors as well as police were injured in the scuffle. 

The angry protestors were seen hurling eggs and water pouches at police. The police took several protestors into preventive custody to control the situation.

The entire Lower PMG area turned into a battlefield after the scuffle broke out between BJP activists and police. Soon the situation slipped out of control when the activists allegedly tried to break the security cordon. As per senior police officials, it is then that the security personnel resorted to lathi-charge to disperse the mob.

Senior officials said that stones & water bottles were hurled by the demonstrators and around 21 police personnel sustained injuries in the scuffle.

Later, DGP Sunil Bansal & Twin City Police Commissioner met the injured police personnel undergoing treatment at Capital hospital.

“From ACP to constable, around 21 personnel have been injured. The demonstrators pelted stones, eggs and water bottles at police. Stones were also hurled at some quarters near the spot. We will certainly take action,” said Police Commissioner, Saumendra Priyadarshi.

A lady BJP activists alleged, “Police personnel pushed me from the van. I am injured. Our protest is for the common man and our fight will continue.”

BJP alleged that over 40 activist were injured in the attack by police personnel. “There were no women cops and the women activists were beaten up by male cops,” alleged BJP activist, Truptimayi.

Speaking to OTV, BJP Yova Morcha president Irasis Acharya said, “This fight is against the government, not against the police. This government is using police force against the people. The broad daylight murder of Naba Das, Mahanga double murder, Pari murder and Mamita Meher case indicate that the law and order situation in the state has completely collapsed.” 

“Our protest and fight against the deteriorating law and order situation will continue in coming days and we will enter the Assembly,” he added. 

Speaking on the occasion, BJP Mahila Morcha State President Smruti Pattnaik said, “The government has become blind. The people of Odisha do not have any more patience. Therefore, following the calls of BJP Yuva Morcha, people have joined the protest seeking peace, security and justice.”

“Though the issue of Naba Das murder is raised in the Assembly, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is least bothered to answer. The government is not clarifying who is the main accused. We were heading to the Assembly to ask the question. However, instead of giving answer, the government used the police force to launch indiscriminate attack on us and left us injured,” she alleged.

National General Secretary of BJP Yuva Morcha, Rohit Chal said, “The law and order situation has collapsed in the state. It is unfortunate the way the health minister of the state was killed in broad daylight. Odisha Chief Minister needs to answer who were the people behind the murder of health minister Naba Das.” When the Assembly session resumed, BJP also raked the issue of police excess on its activists during the protest and created ruckus in the House.

Opposition Chief Whip, Mohan Majhi said, “The way the exact motive behind Naba Das motive has not been ascertained even after a month, it speaks volumes about the law and order situation. The BJD members were engaged in conspiracy to stall the Assembly proceedings.”

Revenue Minister Pramilla Malick, on the other hand responded saying, “Opposition will always complain over law and order situation and other issues no matter what developmental works the government does. The overall law and order situation is good in the state.”

(Reported by OdishaTV Bureau)