Rashmi Rekha Das

The Naba Nirman Yuva Chhatra Sangathan, a students’ outfit on Saturday gheraoed official residence of Minister of State (MoS ) Home, Tusharkanti Behera in Bhubaneswar demanding probe in irregularities in paddy procurement.

Apart from seeking action against millers responsible for irregularities in paddy procurement, the outfit members sought action against Jajpur Inspector In-Charge (IIC) who misbehaved with a journalist of OTV and assaulted him when he was busy covering a farmers’ rally organized by the same outfit in Jajpur on January 19.

Activists also alleged that police took action against farmers instead of mandi officials and millers responsible for irregularities in paddy procurement in Jagatsingpur and arrested as many as 12 farmers without any valid reason.

The outfit's president said, “We had launched a state-wide protest over irregularities in paddy procurement on January 19. Police arrested as many as 12 farmers and put them in jail even though we were holding a silent protest. That apart, Jajpur police IIC Ajay Jena misbehaved with OTV journalist and threatened him with life when he was busy covering the protest rally. This is really unfortunate. We want resignation of Minister Tusharkanti Behera and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik." 

"Besides, our demands include suspension of Jagatsinghpur Superintendent of Police, release of 12 farmers and action against the IIC who misbehaved with OTV journalist,” he added.

It is pertinent to mention that Jajpur IIC reportedly threatened OTV’s district correspondent Sanjeev Nayak when the latter was covering farmers’ agitation in front of the district collector's office. The IIC reportedly tried to interrupt the live coverage of the news and snatch the camera.

The IIC even misbehaved with the journalist when the latter tried to get the IIC’s reaction as to why he tried to prevent him from the news coverage.

That is not all. When the OTV journalist brought the issue to the attention of the SP Vinit Agrawal, the IIC lost his cool and resorted to highhandedness.

Reported by Soumya Ranjan Sahu, OTV