Vikash Sharma

A day after the fierce battle at Lower PMG during a demonstration over deteriorating law and order and Naba Das murder case, the BJP and the Odisha Police are now at loggerheads.

The police have arrested as many as 22 Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Yuva Morcha members including the wing's state unit president, Irasis Acharya following violent clashes with the police during the protest in the state capital on Tuesday.

Odisha BJP president Samir Mohanty on Wednesday stated that the party planned to gherao the Odisha Assembly and stage demonstration peacefully. However, if BJD or the government thinks that those who will stage demonstration will be attacked by police and party goons is really unfortunate, he said.

“In the videos, some youths in white shirts can be seen attacking the BJP activists. Who are they? Are they not BJD goons? Such BJD goons first attacked and pelted stones at the police. When police resorted to lathi-charge on BJP activists, the goons again attacked police personnel,” alleged Mohanty.

Also Read: BJP stages dharna against 'police excesses' during Bhubaneswar protest

Mohanty further said that following the incident, BJP Yuva Morcha leaders waited outside Capital Police Station for several hours, but an FIR was not registered and they were present till 3 am at the police station. It clearly speaks about the law and order situation as, despite all evidence, an FIR is not being registered in Bhubaneswar.

“CM Naveen Patnaik always says that law will take its own course. But we want to ask that is the law not same for everybody? The police personnel, who beat our BJP activists, brutally attacked and misbehaved with women workers, are they above the law,” questioned Mohanty.

“The BJP Yuva Morcha leaders and others were kept in a Barack and produced before the court in the wee hours. Those leaders who went to see them were also arrested. It shows that police slapped serious charges against them on somebody’s instruction. It is another example of how false cases are being registered by the police,” the BJP state president said.

Also Read: Clash, lathi charge mark BJP’s Naba Das murder protest in Bhubaneswar, many detained

Mohanty alleged that some people with vested interests created trouble and some police officers attacked BJP activists to please and prove their loyalty to the state government.

“Police personnel were provided beds and AC chambers at the hospital. But the BJP Yuva activists were treated on stretchers. The way Police DG and Commissioner Police gave statements shows that everything was sponsored. We are demanding a CBI probe into Naba Das murder and our agitation will continue,” said Mohanty.

Taking to Twitter, BJP National Vice-President Baijayant Panda also condemned the police excess on Yuva Morcha activists.

Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan also expressed concern over 'police excesses' on BJP leaders and activists. In a series of tweets, Pradhan wrote, “I condemn the police excess on party activists. It is concerning the way police attacked BJP Yuva Morcha activists as criminals instead of treating them as political activists. It is not healthy for the democracy the way police took action in one-sided manner.”

Meanwhile, politics is also peaking in Odisha over the incident with ruling BJD condemning the violence during the protest. The party leaders also questioned union minister’s silence over the incident. The BJD claimed that police action was part of self-defense response after they were attacked first.

“The goondaraj in the name of protests by BJP Yuva Morcha is not acceptable in a peaceful state like Odisha,” said BJD spokesperson, Srimayee Mishra.

On the other hand, BJD leader Sasmit Patra drew BJP National President JP Nadda’s attention and tweeted, “@JPNadda Ji, please have a look at this video; how Police were mercilessly beaten yesterday by BJP Yuva Morcha workers. 21 Police officers including an ACP injured, 2 Police personnel critical & shifted to SCB Medical."

BJP MLA Suryavanshi Suraj said, “The statements of the BJD spokesperson claimed that the protest was to fulfill the political ambition of a person. Why the BJD fears naming the person. The BJD also questioned why Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan did not utter a word on the incident. I want to make it clear that the matter is related to the Home Department and the concerned minister and CM Naveen Patnaik has not said anything rather the BJD wants statements from Union Minister.”

(Reported by OdishaTV Bureau)