BJD Leader Meenakshi Mishra Who Set Herself On Fire Succumbs To Injuries In Bhubaneswar Hospital

Bhubaneswar: The senior BJD women wing’s leader in Ganjam, Meenakshi Mishra who attempted self-immolation on February 12, died while undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Bhubaneswar today.

Protesting alleged police inaction and demanding the release of her son, Krutibasa Mishra alias Raja in an assault case, Meenakshi set her on fire after pouring kerosene on her body outside Berhampur SP office.

She had sustained 95 per cent burn injuries and was admitted to SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack. But later as her health condition deteriorated, she was shifted to a private hospital in Bhubaneswar where she was put on ventilator some two to three days ago.

“The doctors declared her dead at 9.55 AM. She was an active member of BJD from Ganjam. Her untimely demise has saddened us,” said Mishra’s sister.

Earlier on January 28, Meenakshi’s son Raja was brutally thrashed with a bat by Sunil Moharana and some of his friends at Panda colony under Baidyanathpur Police limits in Berhampur over some parking issue.

When Meenakshi intervened to save her son, she was also attacked by the assailants. Later, a complaint was lodged by Meenakshi and Raja following which three attackers were arrested by Baidyanathpur Police.

Later, Raja was also arrested on the basis of a counter FIR.

However, the BJD leader alleged that her son was falsely implicated and had no role in the attack. She had also written to Berhampur SP Pinak Mishra demanding arrest of the attackers and release of her son.

When no action was taken in this regard, Meenakshi took the extreme step to show her protest. Though some police personnel present at the spot rescued her, she had sustained major burn injuries.

Meanwhile, the death of the woman leader heated up politics in the State with Opposition BJP and Congress launching a scathing attack on the government. “The government has failed to protect a woman leader of its own party. How the women and girls of Odisha will believe that the government will protect them,” questioned BJP’s Pravati Parida.

Congress MLA Adhiraj Panigrahi said, “If a party which is ruling the State for the last 20 fail to protect and provide justice to a woman leader of its own party, how it would ensure justice for 4.5 crore people especially women of the State.”

Responding to the allegations, former BJD MLA, Ramesh Chandra Chyau Patnaik said, “Had the woman leader informed us about the arrest of her son, we would have taken steps for his bail. However, she took the step out of frustration.” 

On the other hand, Odisha State Commission For Women has taken note of the incident and said it is inquiring into the circumstances which compelled Meenakshi Mishra to immolate herself.

“As various questions are being raised, we will certainly inquire into the matter and take action accordingly,” said commission’s chairperson Minati Behera.