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BJP Up In Arms Over Custodial Deaths In Odisha

Bhubaneswar: Members of Odisha unit of the BJP along with the activists of Mahila Morcha, the party’s women wing launched a protest rally on Friday against the alleged inaction of the State government in connection with the two back-to-back alleged custodial deaths in Puri and Biramitrapur yesterday.

The demonstrators demanded immediate resignation of CM Naveen Patnaik over the situation which triggered widespread unrest in the towns of Puri and Sundargarh on Thursday.

Sloganeering against the BJD government’s alleged neglect against the cops stated to be involved in the custodial deaths, the BJP activists took out the march from party headquarters to Odisha Legislative Assembly.

“Two custodial deaths in a day indicate the diminishing state of law and order in the State. The dead body of the Puri youth was not even handed over to his family and the police officials themselves cremated his dead body which is very pathetic. A high-level probe should be directed into the matter. If those responsible for the deaths are not booked soon, we will escalate our protests,” threatened Bhubaneswar BJP President, Babu Singh.

Protesters also demanded the transfer of the concerned SPs and immediate action against the police in-charges of both Biramitrapur police station in Sundargarh and Baseli Sahi PS in Puri respectively.

A scuffle erupted when platoons of Commissionerate Police barred the irate BJP activists from marching towards the State Assembly near Master Canteen. The saffron party workers, including many women activists were later taken into preventive custody by the police.

“We had come to request the government to take appropriate action so that the family members of the two youths who died in police custody get justice. However, police action against us indicates the administration’s inability in handling the case. Now it is not only BJP’s fight, but the battle of each and every person of Odisha,” said an agitating member of BJP.

On the other hand, BJP Puri MLA Jayanta Sarangi said that the twin custodial death cases will be raised during the ongoing winter session of Odisha Assembly. Speaking in this connection, a fumed Congress MLA Santosh Singh Saluja noted that the IICs of the two concerned police stations should be immediately booked under Section 302 and put behind bars.

“The Puri youth was beaten to death in the custody and his family members weren’t even allowed to see his dead body the last time. The concerned IICs, SPs and SDPOs in Puri and Sundargarh respectively should be immediately booked under Section 302,” demanded Saluja.

Responding to the allegations, BJD MLA Amar Satapathy said, “The government will definitely answer if the matter is raised in the Assembly.”

(Edited By Suryakant Jena)

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