Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

In the wake of the Sambalpur violence, BJP and BJD leaders in the State indulged in a war of words against each other. Odisha BJP on Tuesday alleged anti-Hindu mindset of the ruling BJD citing past incidents like the disappearance of Srimandir Ratna Bhandar key, the alleged conspiracy to stop ‘Ratha Jatra’ during Covid 19 outbreak, and rap from the Supreme Court for providing Lord Jagannath’s land to a private company.

Opposing Energy and Industries Minister, Pratap Deb’s statement on Monday, former State BJP President, Sameer Mohanty questioned why the culprits involved in the violence in Sambalpur have not been arrested so far. 

“Organisers are responsible for the violence during Ram Navami and Hanuman Jayanti. What does this statement by the BJD mean? Does the statement mean that Hindus have indulged in violence during the celebration of the festivals? Those who created the mayhem in Sambalpur on April 12 by brandishing sharp weapons; are they not responsible for the violence? Minister Pratap Deb’s statement on Monday is making it clear that the perpetrators of the violence are being shielded. Then who is creating pressure not to arrest the perpetrators of violence?” asked Mohanty.

The senior BJP leader also slammed the BJD over slain gangster Atiq Ahmed’s aide Guddu Muslim’s Odisha visit and his alleged links with a ruling party leader.

“Guddu Muslim came to Puri and then went to Bargarh. A hardcore criminal, who is currently on bail after returning from jail for his involvement in two murder cases, gave him shelter. Isn’t he the friend of Sushant Singh?” Mohanty further asked.

However, BJD refuted the allegations of the BJP.

“For the first time we are hearing that BJD is doing politics over religion. I do not believe in this thing and strongly condemn it. Violence may be flowing in BJP’s blood. It’s a baseless allegation by the BJP,” said BJD leader Parshuram Dhada.

Amid the political slugfests, a member of the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes, Anant Nayak visited Jharabandha village to meet the family members of Chandrakant Mirda who lost his life in violence during Hanuman Jayanti. However, the house was locked following which Nayak held a meeting with the villagers and discussed about the incident.

“As per reports, the family members have gone outside to perform some rituals following the death of the family member. However, the ex gratia amount has already been provided to them,” said Sambalpur Collector, Ananya Das.

Later, Nayak visited Bhabanipali village and met the family members of Kalia Sikha who sustained injuries in the incident.

“After the completion of the inquiry, the final report will be submitted before the President. If required the commission will visit the spot again for more inquiry,” said Nayak.

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  • SANJAY JENA , HARIHARA CHAND , Bhagirathi Sahu