Pradeep Pattanayak

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Parliamentarians from Odisha on Friday launched a broadside against the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) government, saying the state government is fully responsible for what Sambalpur witnessed on December 12 and the subsequent suspension of 43 layers’ licenses. 

Addressing a press meet in New Delhi, five BJP MPs from Odisha alleged that had the State government taken early measures, the situation could have been avoided. The State government’s silence over the issue led to such an incident, they alleged.  

“Now with the suspension of licenses of 43 lawyers, how the court will function?” asked MP Suresh Pujari. 

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“We have submitted a memorandum to the Chief Minister, seeking his intervention to bring back normalcy and stop the arrest of advocates,” said Pujari.   

“Had the Chief Minister answered the letter of the Union Law Minister and submitted a detailed proposal after conferring with the Chief Justice of Orissa High Court and the Governor, such a situation wouldn’t have happened. The previous law ministers had too sought a detailed report from the Chief Minister to which he didn’t respond. Now the situation is to be handled swiftly and who else than the CM to take the lead? The Supreme Court has pronounced its judgment but the duty of the State government doesn’t end there. It is the State government who is to give healing touch, “said Pujari. 

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“The Chief Minister is the Home Minister of the State and he should answer why the intelligence failed and why 17 platoon police forces deployed at the spot failed to tackle the situation, “he added.

Notably, the lawyers had been staging strike over the demand of setting up a permanent bench of Orissa High Court. 

On Monday, Kacheri Chhak in Sambalpur district turned into a battlefield after a scuffle broke out between policemen and lawyers

Protesting lawyers were trying to enter into the court premises when the police stopped them, leading to the clash. Later, the Bar Council of India had suspended the licenses of 29 advocates for a period of 18 months. Subsequently, the police took action against the agitating lawyers and arrested 23 of them.