Pradeep Pattanayak

Union Minister Giriraj Singh on Sunday termed the violence that Sambalpur city witnessed during the observance of Hanuman Jayanti as unfortunate.

Lashing out at the BJD-led dispensation, he said the government is worshiping at the altar of appeasement politics. While we believe in ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’, the government here is shielding the rioters. 

“Where we will celebrate Hanuman Jayanti?” he asked. 

In its response, the BJD hit back at the Union Minister, saying the Minister giving such a statement about the sensational incident is unfortunate.

“If a Union Minister gives a statement on a sensational incident, it couldn’t be more unfortunate,” said BJD MLA Amar Prasad Satpathy. 

Launching a scathing attack on the saffron party, Satapathy said, “The rioters can never be protected. Action will definitely be taken against those who are found guilty.”

Earlier in the day, while briefing the journalists at a presser, Sambalpur SP B. Gangadhar termed the April 12 stone-pelting incident as pre-planned. He said the preliminary investigation revealed that some people had kept stones and other articles in their houses. 

So far 26 persons involved in the stone pelting incident have been arrested and around 100 others have been identified. 

Similarly, in connection with the violence that took place during the procession on April 14, as many as 53 persons have been arrested, he informed

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