19 witnesses depose in BJD leader attack probe

Cuttack: Nineteen of the 20 witnesses, who had filed affidavits before the central division Revenue Divisional Commissioner (RDC) in connection with the alleged attack on BJD leader Hussain Rabi Gandhi, turned up to depose and record their statements.

RDC Arabinda Padhee is conducting an administrative enquiry into the June 20 attack on Gandhi, who is also the editor of Utkal Prasanga, a monthly Odia journal brought out by information and public relations department of the state government.

Gandhi was allegedly attacked by supporters of Korei BJD MLA Priti Ranjan Ghadei when the former had visited Korei to attend a party workers meeting on the ill-fated day. Gandhi had sustained grievous injuries and his vehicle was badly damaged. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had ordered the inquiry into the unsavoury incident.

The RDC after visiting the spot last month had invited affidavits from all those who had wished to make their statements recorded. Accordingly, 20 persons, including Gandhi himself and local police had filed affidavits.

But yesterday, barring one, all the remaining witnesses deposed before the RDC who has also indicated that he would submit his report to the government soon.

Deposing yesterday, Gandhi demanded before the RDC that the telephone calls of Korei MLA and his MLA father Prafulla Chandra Ghadei made on June 20 and June 21 should be examined to ascertain what circumstances led to the incident and who were involved in it.