Pradeep Pattanayak

Demanding an impartial investigation by the NIA into the Hanuman Jayanti violence that took place in Sambalpur, the parliamentarians and legislators of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Odisha on Saturday wrote a letter to the Union Minister of Home Affairs, Amit Shah. 

Claiming that the violent attacks on the bike rally by a certain community as pre-planned and organized, the leaders demanded an investigation by the NIA to unravel the conspiracy. They also urged the Union Home Minister to intervene in this matter and to direct the state government to take necessary measures to restore law and order, ensure communal harmony and prevent the recurrence of such incidents in the future. 

In the letter, the leaders held the police department and the Odisha government responsible for the violence.  

“We are appalled by the biased and negligent attitude of the Government of Odisha in handling this incident. We wonder why the police did not arrest the conspirators beforehand, knowing their plot, especially when similar incidents have occurred in the past," they said. 

They alleged the conspirators have the backing of the ruling party of Odisha for their political motives. This is why the police have resorted to arresting the innocent members of the procession who are themselves the victims of the attacks. 

The leaders also raised the issue of Bangladeshi immigrants. 

They alleged that the Bangladeshi immigrants have encroached upon the government land as the administration is looking the other way. The administration has ignored their anti-national activities, such as building huge structures on government land and acquiring illegal weapons. There have been reports of illicit trade of firearms and weapons from this area.

Due to the ineptitude of the Government of Odisha in curbing illegal immigrants, illicit business promoted by communal and anti-national forces, and failure of intelligence, other towns in Odisha are becoming vulnerable to a repeat of such crimes, they alleged.

Apart from Odisha BJP President, Manmohan Samal, several others including MP Aparajita Sarangi, BJP chief whip Mohan Majhi, MLAs Nauri Naik, Suyrabanshi Suraj, L.B. Mohapatra, and K. Narayan Rao signed the letter.