Pradeep Pattanayak

A day after the Salepur JMFC court ordered to continue the case filed against BJD leader and MLA Pratap Jena in the Mahanga double murder case, members of a social organisation demonstrating in front of the Mahanga block office in Cuttack and the supporters of the MLA exchanged blows on Tuesday. In the scuffle, two persons suffered injuries. 

According to a source, following the direction of the Salepur JMFC court, the members of an organsiation named ‘Nyay Paeen Sangarsha’ were staging a demonstration in front of the Mahanga block office. When the demonstrators were going to burn the effigy of MLA Jena, his supporters reached the spot and confronted the demonstrators. In no time, a scuffle ensued between them with both sides exchanging blows. 

The situation came to such a pass that police had to intervene to bring the situation under control. 
“Since I have been opposing Pratap Jena, at his behest, some of his supporters attacked me. These supporters also made rounds in front of my house yesterday following the order of the JMFC court. If any action is taken against Pratap Jena in the future, won’t they allow me to live peacefully in Mahanga?” said Ramchandra Behera, an injured person. 

“Some miscreants led by one identified as Dillip Sahu were responsible for what happened today. Sahu and his supporters had been hanging out in front of the block office. The situation came under control only after the police intervention,” said Satyanarayan Mohanty, vice chairman, Mahanga block. 

When contacted over his mobile phone, Dillip Sahu, a member of Nyay Paeen Sangarsh, said, “I had informed the BDO, the tehsildar, and the IIC of the Mahanga Police Station about our programme. The attack on me can’t suppress my voice against Pratap Jena. The struggle will rather be intensified in the coming days.”

Meanwhile, the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress targeted the ruling BJD, demanding action against Jena. 

“After perusal of the documents, the court ordered to continue the case against him (Pratap Jena). So, this is not the allegation of the BJP. We wish to know if the Chief Minister will take action against him terming it as anti-people,” said BJP MLA Nauri Nayak. 

Earlier, Congress leader, Debendra Sahu had said, “The court’s order is a victory for the people of Mahanga. A case has been registered against Pratap Jena under Section 302. We will launch a strike and continue it till his arrest.”

On the other hand, BJD MP Sasmit Patra on Tuesday parried questions from journalists on the Pratap Jena issue.

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