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Odisha ‘Custodial Deaths’ Heat In Assembly: Opposition Mounts Attack On Govt

Bhubaneswar: The proceedings of the winter session of Odisha Assembly on Saturday witnessed uproarious scenes with Opposition parties- BJP and Congress cornering Odisha government over the recent alleged custodial deaths in Puri and Biramitrapur of Sundergarh district.

Raising the issue, Pradipta Naik, Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly alleged that the deceased K. Ramesh was brutally beaten to death on the directions of Puri Superintendent of Police, Akhileswar Singh.

However, the SP says that Ramesh died following a scuffle with police. His transfer is just eyewash to divert public attention. A detailed discussion should be conducted through a motion in the House,” Naik said, adding that his party completely rejected the state government’s action against the Puri SP.

The BJP leader also alleged that Ramesh’s cremation was not done according to the Hindu tradition. Those who remained present at the cremation were taken to Brahmagiri police station and kept there for two days, he said.

The Leader of Opposition said that the state government cannot protect IAS and IPS officers by punishing low ranking officials.

“Thinking that our work is over by only suspending or transferring officials is not enough. A case against 302 should be registered against Puri SP after suspending him. A judicial probe should be ordered in the case,” said Naik.

Congress Legislature Party leader Narasingha Mishra also came down heavily on the state government and dubbed prevalence of “Jungle Raj” in Odisha.

“The law and order situation has gone for a toss in the State. Even after two custodial deaths and lot of hue and cry, the chief minister Naveen Patnaik has not taken any step. The CM has failed to take stern action on the issue. We have never seen police conducting cremation of a victim of custodial death secretly. This kind of incident has happened in Uttar Pradesh and now being repeated in Odisha,” said Mishra.

Responding to the allegations levelled by the Opposition parties, senior BJD leader Amar Satpathy said, “As per the provisions of rule 67, if any matter is subjudice, it cannot be discussed in the House. I had raised the issue in the Assembly and said that it may influence the probe if it is discussed in the House.”

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