20 BJP men detained during minister’s visit to Sambalpur

Sambalpur: Around 20 BJP activists, including district president Ramachandra Meher, were taken into preventive custody while they were preparing to protest during the visit of Textile minister Snehagini Chhuria to this western Odisha city.

“We have taken 20 activists, both gents and ladies, into preventive custody under section 151 while they were trying to obstruct the way of the minister by showing black flags. They have been kept in a protected and undisclosed place”, Sambalpur SDPO Gagarin Mohanty.

The saffron party members showed black flags on the road before the minister’s arrival. Police requested them to refrain from doing so but they refused to comply. There was a face-off between the security forces and the protesters.

They were protesting against minister for the attack by BJD workers on Union minister Santosh Gangwar’s convoy, the BJP workers said.

Gangwar’s vehicle, it may be noted, was damaged by workers of the ruling BJD while the Minister and several other dignitaries were on their way to attend BJP’s Vikas Parv rally in Bargarh town on June 23. The rally was organised to highlight the achievements of the Narendra Modi Government’s in the last two years.

Among others whose vehicles were part of the convoy were Union Minister for Food Processing Industries Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, former Jharkhand Chief Minister Arjun Munda and BJP Odisha unit president Basanta Panda.

Minister Chhuria, however, attended a programme at Sambalpur Press Club and feigned ignorance about any protest by the BJP workers.

“No, I have not faced any protest from anybody. This is my land. I have come here for the service of our weavers. Why should I be protested?”, the Minister said.