Pradeep Pattanayak

Bhubaneswar MP and BJP leader Aparajita Sarangi launched a scathing attack on the BJD-led dispensation in Odisha for its alleged failure to prevent the violence that erupted in Sambalpur city during the Hanuman Jayanti celebrations despite a prior intelligence report. 

“The state government has drastically failed in both preventing the violence from taking place and taking punitive action against those responsible. The first thing is why an incident is allowed to take place and the second thing is why the police are so callous in responding to such serious incidents,” asked Sarangi. 

“None other than the Chief Minister should be blamed for this incident. Because he (Chief Minister) holds the Home Department portfolio. The second thing is punitive action. If the incident took place, the miscreants should have been apprehended within 48 hours of the incident,” she added. 

State BJP president Manmohan Samal also launched a vituperative attack on the state government. 

“If you had the intelligence report, why you didn’t take preventive steps accordingly? Miscreants created a disturbance during the Hanuman Jayanti celebration by pelting stones. Is it India or any other place? The violence could have been avoided. If my government was in power, I should have taken the responsibility,” said Samal. 

In his response, senior BJD leader Shashi Bhushan Behera said, “If there was no peace and discipline in the state, foreign investors shouldn’t have shown interest to invest crores of money here. If any conspiracy is being hatched to destroy the tranquility and disturb the investors, people will give the conspirators a befitting reply.”

Asked why the violence took place in Sambalpur despite the intelligence report, Behera parried the questions and told the journalists to ask the police and the intelligence departments.

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