Sharmili Mallick

Demanding the removal of Minister of State for Home Dibya Shankar Mishra for his alleged links with Gobinda Sahu, the main accused in the Mamita Meher murder case, the BJP on Saturday intensified its stir against the ruling BJD government by observing bandh in Gajapati and Jharsuguda districts.

Normal life was affected as the Gajapati unit of BJP observed a 12-hour bandh from 6 am to 6 pm in the district. Shops, markets, educational and business establishments remained closed in view of the bandh.

Paralakhemundi MLA and party’s district president K Narayan Rao had earlier said that the bandh will be observed peacefully. He had alleged that despite Mishra’s involvement in the murder case, the BJD-led Odisha government is shielding the Minister.

He alleged that unless Mishra is ousted from the Cabinet, a fair probe into the case cannot be ensured. Rao further alleged that Mahanga double murder, Pari murder, Pipili Babina Behere rape and murder case and other sensational cases in the State were also not properly investigated.

The BJP activists also picketed at several places disrupting vehicular communication in the district. “People no more feel safe under the Naveen Patnaik-led Odisha government. Women are not safe. Rape, kidnapping and other crimes against women continue unabated in the State. The bandh declared by the BJP is receiving huge support from the public,” said Rao.

An agitating BJP worker said, “Gobinda Sahu kidnapped and murdered Mamita. He has been receiving protection from Minister Dibya Shankar Mishra. Why is the Minister not being removed from the Cabinet? He should be arrested.”

Similarly in Jharsuguda, business establishments, government and private offices, banks and educational institutions remained closed while vehicular movement came to a grinding halt as the saffron party observed 8-hour, from 6 am to 2 pm, bandh across the district.

The BJP workers were also seen picketing at strategic locations in Jharsuguda Town. The Jharsuguda unit of BJP has demanded the dismissal of Minister Mishra and CBI probe into the murder case.

“Mamita Meher was the daughter of Odisha. She was brutally murdered, but CM Naveen continues to be silent and the accused Minister is still moving freely. The State government is shielding the criminal Ministers and MLAs and we condemn it,” said a BJP worker.

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