Pradeep Pattanayak

Trouble mounted for BJD’s Tirtol MLA Bijay Shankar Das as the state units of Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday demanded police action against the lawmaker. 

Both parties have one concern: Why no action has been taken even though 15 days have passed since the Jagatsinghpur Police registered a case against the MLA following the intervention of the Orissa High Court? 

Both parties took out separate rallies and staged demonstrations in Jagatsinghpur, demanding the arrest of MLA Das. 

“Following the High Court’s intervention, a case was registered against the MLA with various non-bailable charges at the Jagatsinghpur Police Station. Seven days ago, members of the Mahila Congress had met the Superintendent of Police and demanded a probe into the allegations and immediate arrest. As no action has been taken yet, the Mahila Congress of Tirtol Assembly constituency today took out a rally. We demand the police to arrest him and the party should terminate him,” said Youth Congress leader, Himanshu Bhushan Mallik. 

Echoing similar demands, BJP leader Bibhu Prasad Tarai said, “If Tirtol MLA Bijay Shankar Das is not arrested within two days, then the BJP will take to the streets.”

Meanwhile, Tirtol BJD president Sumit Das took the side of Tirtol MLA Das and said, “Today we are assembled to counter what the Opposition party is doing. Our party is supporting the enquiry. We are also supporting it. The MLA too is in favour of the enquiry. We have to wait till the outcome.” 

On the other hand, when contacted, MLA Das refused to say anything on camera. Off camera, he said he would say everything at an appropriate time. 

Somalika, who claims to be a friend of the MLA, had moved the Orissa HC after Jagatsinghpur Police did not register a case against Bijay Shankar on the basis of a complaint lodged by her on May 13, 2022. She had accused the IIC of Jagatsinghpur and the district superintendent of police of inaction.

While hearing the petition, the court directed Jagatsinghpur IIC to register a case if any cognizable case is made out. Following the direction of the court, Jagatsinghpur Police registered a case on February 3 and recorded the statement of Somalika Dash under sections 161 and 164 CrPC, in connection with an alleged betrayal case.


(Reported by Sasanka Sekhar Panda, OTV)