CM ‘shocked’ over stole removal, reiterates commitment to protect women’s dignity

Bhubaneswar: Amid repeated adjournments due to ruckus created by Opposition over stole removal incident, CM Naveen Patnaik today expressed deep concern over the matter in the Assembly.

“I strongly share the concern of this august house on the issue of security personnel removing black ‘Odhani’ of girls in a government programme in Sundergarh district on 4th of this month”, Patnaik told the House.

Talking about a probe being ordered into the incident, the chief minister said the security forces have also been warned not to repeat such things in future.

“When I came to know this incident, I was personally shocked. I called Home secretary and DGP and warned against such conduct which denigrates human dignity and warned against repetition.
DGP has been asked to conduct an inquiry in to the matter and take appropriate action on the defaulting security personnel. Inspector General of Police, western Range, Rourkela is already enquiring the incident”, Patnaik added.

Patnaik said his government is committed to preserve women’s dignity. “My government is sensitive and fully committed towards empowerment and preserving the dignity of women. I am also against causing inconvenience to people while enforcing security protocol and had earlier directed police several times in this regard”, he told the Assembly.

BJP MLA Radharani Panda alleged that Sunder-like incident also took place in Bargarh and Brajrajnagar. But, CM didnot utter a single word about these incident in his statement, she added.

The Opposition members have been demanding apology and statement from CM. BJP women activists yesterday staged a state-wide protest wearing black sarees.

Also read: Women in black protest stole removal incident

The Assembly witnessed a smooth functioning for quite some time during question hour soon after it assembled for the day. Later, BJP legislators created ruckus in the well of the House after party member Radharani Panda’s request to speak on the issue was denied. MLA Rabi Naik climbed onto the Speaker’s podium and snatched some documents. He also attempted to snatch mic. Unable to run the House Speaker Niranjan Pujari had to adjourn the House for 10 minutes and again for 20 minutes when din continued.

Notably, On Sunday, the police had removed all black stoles and shawls from women who had come to attend Patnaik’s meeting in Sundergarh on ‘security reasons.’

Meanwhile, a woman from Cuttack filed a PIL in Orissa High Court making the Home Secretary, DGP, Sundergarh Collector and SP party in the stole removal case.