Mrunal Manmay Dash

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Bhubaneswar MP Aparajita Sarangi targeted the Odisha government on Monday over the group clash at Padmakesharpur in Bhubaneswar.

Taking the local administration to task, Sarangi alleged that the clash that has created an ‘atmosphere of fear’ in the area was a result of illegal money lending.

“While many families have lost everything to the chit fund scam, it has led the illegal money lenders to thrive in those areas under the direct patronage of BJD leaders. This is a direct violation of Odisha Money Lenders Act 1939,” she alleged while addressing a press conference.

“The police have arrested 155 people from that area including 54 women in the last three months. Their family members now fear for their lives. However, the money lenders are roaming scot-free on Bhubaneswar streets after violating law,” Sarangi alleged.

Sarangi on Saturday had written a letter to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik seeking his immediate intervention to restore normalcy at Padmakesharpur village. 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.

As per Sarangi, only a handful of women and children are currently residing in the now-deserted village in 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.