Vikash Sharma

After the disappearance of the keys of Ratna Bhandar,  Puri Jagannath temple’s treasure trove, and some files, another shocking incident has now come to the fore. This time, reports of various Judicial Commissions of Inquiry are missing from the sensitive Home Department.

The details and information regarding the reports of Judicial Commissions of Inquiry for the period from 1936 to 1999 are not available with the Home (special section) department.

This shocking information was revealed via an affidavit submitted by the Home Department before the Information Commission.

The Commission had earlier directed the Home Department to submit an affidavit in this regard in connection with a Right To Information (RTI) application.

The Home Department’s deputy secretary, in the affidavit submitted on April 13, has apprised the Commission that information on reports of Judicial Commissions of Inquiry for the period from 1936 to 1999 is not available.

RTI Activist, Pradip Pradhan said that “The state government should take action against the concerned official for such a mistake.”

Pradhan said that despite repeated demands, no information was provided to the Commission for which it sought an affidavit. “Now the question arises, was no Judicial Commission set up between 1936 and 1999 in Odisha? There should have been some document with the government if a Judicial Commission was set up,” he said.

It is pertinent to mention here that inquiries by Judicial Commissions were ordered following the 1992 hooch tragedy that claimed 200 lives; the death of six devotees during the Nagarguja Besha in 1993 and the mass firing incident at Chilika in 1999.

The unavailability of Judicial Commission of Inquiry reports has led to suspicion in the minds of many. The Opposition parties have targeted the Odisha government over the issue.

BJP has alleged that the files are not missing, rather they have been suppressed by the Odisha government.

“The responsibility of finding the missing files lies with the government which is in power. Whether the files are missing or kept hidden somewhere shows that someone wants information/facts not to come out in public. Hence, such an inefficient government doesn’t deserve to be in power,” alleged BJP leader, Bhrugu Buxipatra.

Congress MLA, Suresh Routray said, “What an inefficient government as no information is available. The government should punish those who were in charge of such crucial documents. We will welcome if such thing happens, else we will intensify agitation.”

Responding to the allegations levelled by the Opposition parties, BJD MLA, Parshuram Dhada said, “BJD or CM was not the custodian. The Congress government, which was in power, is responsible. It is not justified to drag the CM and do propaganda.”

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