BJP workers, police scuffle in Rayagada

Rayagada: Tension ran high in Rayagada town following a scuffle between the police and the BJP workers during a demonstration near the office of the district collector on Thursday.

Reports said the BJP workers were on demonstration in front the collector’s office in protest against deteriorating health services in the district when the policemen tried to evict them and arrest the district BJP president Siba Shankar Ullaka.

This ensued a scuffle between the police and the BJP workers. During the scuffle, a BJP woman activist was seen slapping a policeman.

“We had prepared a memorandum on the poor health services in the district to be submitted to the governor through the district collector. While we were peacefully demonstrating in front of the collector’s office, police tried to evict us forcibly. From this incident, you can know how much the state government is afraid of us and how much it is concerned for the people of this district. We will continue our agitation peacefully. We also want to inform the government that we won’t allow its autocratic policy and goondaraj in the district,” the district BJP president told media persons after the incident.

In her reaction, K Ashwini, a BJP woman activist, while referring to the delivery of a tribal woman in a charpoy, said “We had gone to ask the district administration as to what the Naveen Patnaik government is doing. But the police tried to evict us stating that we were demonstrating within the 200-metre radius from the office of the collector. If the police says we are going against the district administration, can’t the district administration see the pain and dignity of a pregnant woman? When we protested the attempt of the police to arrest our president, they allegedly misbehaved with us and pulled us out of the meeting place.

Asked about the matter, IIC of Rayagada Town Police Rabindra Patra said the police had given permission to the BJP workers to demonstration outside the 200-metre area of the collector’s office. But they ignored our instructions and demonstrated near the DRDA office which is 20-30 metre away from the collector’s office.

He, however, denied any misbehaviour to the women activists. “If there is any such incident, it was not intentionally done by the police,” he pointed out.