Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Bhubaneswar MP and senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Aparajita Sarangi on Saturday wrote a letter to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik seeking his immediate intervention to restore normalcy at Padmakesharpur village in Patia area of Bhubaneswar.

The Commissionerate Police has allegedly arrested as many as 150 persons from the village and sent them to custody for the last three months for their alleged involvement in the violent clash that erupted in the area.

In her letter, Sarangi requested Patnaik to find out the reason behind the clash and form a peace committee at the earliest to restore normalcy in the village. The saffron party leader also took stock of the situation by visiting the village on Friday evening.

As per Sarangi, only a handful of women and children are currently residing in the now-deserted village amid a state of panic. She further stated that the government has not yet taken any step to restore peace and tranquillity in the village and hence immediate intervention by the State government is needed.

“On getting news of acute law and order problem and consequent distress of Villagers in Padmakesharpur Village in Bhubaneswar Block (North Bhubaneswar Assembly) segment, I visited the Village late evening, day before yesterday. To my dismay, this village was completely dark and deserted. Very few women and children, whom I met, were found to be in great panic and fear. About 150 persons have been arrested by police and are in jail for the past three months. Money lending matters, subsequent fights and police action-these reasons were brought to my knowledge,” the letter read.

“It is pertinent to mention that the village lies just 16 Kms from the Odisha Secretariat. It is pathetic to behold the sight of the few residents in the Village. Terrible atmosphere of fear, insecurity and pathos is seen and felt. Police action might have been necessary. However, it was all the more required on part of the State Government to get to the root cause of the problems and form Peace Committee immediately. Restoration of normalcy should have been the prime focus.” it added.

As an immediate impact of the Bhubaneswar MP’s letter to the Chief Minister, police and local people's representatives on Saturday visited from door to door in panic-stricken Padmakesharpur village, urging the people who are staying outside to return to their homes. 

In a bid to allay the fear of police action from the minds of the villagers, police officers today met the villagers and urged those staying outside to return to their homes. Similarly, local sarpanch, ex-sarpanch, and zilla parishad members too met the villagers and asked them to call back their relatives staying outside. 

While the police have assured that there would be no arrests, people's representatives assured that those arrested will be released on bail on Monday.