Vikash Sharma

Palpable tension prevailed in Sambalpur after several BJP leaders including Union Minister Bishwesar Tudu, Bargarh MP Suesh Pujari, and State BJP president Manmohan Samal were detained while they were on their way to the violence-hit city on Tuesday.

The BJP delegation was on its way to Sambalpur to take stock of the situation from Jharsuguda when they were detained at Thelkoloi police station. Reacting to their detention, Bargarh MP Suresh Pujari said, “The Collector does not have any rights. When the curfew is relaxed, everybody is allowed to move out to complete their necessary work. They said that the curfew is not relaxed for people’s representatives. The order of the Collector is illegal.”

Pujari further informed that the delegation had yesterday got permission and it was changed all of a sudden. “I will examine the order of the Collector and if it amounts to a breach of privilege, I will definitely move a motion in Parliament against it,” Pujari added.

Union Minister Bisweswar Tudu said, “Despite permission, it was changed today which is really unfortunate. The head of police and district administration should be immediately suspended and if they are not suspended, we will take appropriate action.”

State BJP President, Manmohan Samal, said, “Police and Naveen Patnaik are in a state of fear and they fear us. Naveen Patnaik has given instructions and as police cannot take decisions on their own. Today, the Odisha government has strangulated the rights of police and citizens. The fundamental rights of MP have also been murdered which is really very shameful.”

"Not allowing people's representetives to meet the victims of violence is not good governance. This is despotic rule, moreover an attempt to hide the incompetency," alleged Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan. 

Meanwhile, BJD refuted the allegations by the BJP. Party MLA, Sarada Nayak said, "If there is a situaion in Sambalpur, then all the parties should come together to resolve the issue. Government is a system, not a person. So everybody should come together irrespective of the party politics."  

Later in the evening, all the detained BJP leaders were let go by the police who returned to Jharsuguda.


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