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Odishatv Bureau

Phulbani: BJP national vice-president Vinay Sahasrabuddhe on Saturday fired a salvo at the Naveen Patnaik led BJD government in the State alleging the regional party was not serious about the Kandhamal incident, which took the lives of five innocent people and left seven injured during an anti-Maoist operation in Kandhamal a week ago.

Sahasrabuddhe, who led the three-member Central team including party general secretaries Ramvichar Netam and Jyoti Dhurve, visited Ggumdumaha village in the district today and said the State government has failed to give justice to the people of the backward region.

“After analysing the situation here, we observed that the government is not at all serious about the incident. Instead of giving justice, the ruling party has tried to cover up the case and behaves as if nothing has happened...We spoke to the family members and relatives of the victims...We also heard eyewitness accounts,” the saffron party leader stated.

Asked about any recommendation the party wants to give the State government, he said, “We will suggest only after the investigation is complete.”

Dhurve, who met women and relatives of the victim’s families lashed out at the district administration for ‘failing’ to protect the people in the region.

“The State government has failed to protect these poor people, let alone do any development in the region. The administration has not given justice to these people. BJP is with the people, society and region of the State,” she noted.

The parliamentarian, who hails from Betul in Madhya Pradesh, termed the incident gruesome. “It is not a simple killing of the innocent people but utter inhumantity,” she rued.

The visiting team said it will submit a report on the incident to party president Amit Shah in a couple of days.

Meanwhile, the Congress has gave clear indications that the upcoming monsoon session of the Odisha Assembly will be a stormy affair. The party today said it will raise the matter in the House to corner the ruling BJD ahead of the panchayat polls early next year.

“Certainly we will raise the Kandhamal incident and other issues of the neglected district in the ensuing session of Odisha Assembly. We will need cooperation from everybody for economic and social development of the district, including poverty alleviation and control of Maoist activities,” Mishra stated.

"Chief minister Naveen Patnaik should apologise to the people of Odisha over the matter," he said.

On Saturday, after visiting the incident spot, the septuagenarian leader spoke to Inspector General (IG) of Police (Western Range) RK Sharma and Kandhamal SP Pinak Mishra.

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