Women in black protest stole removal incident

Bhubaneswar: Despite chief minister Naveen Patnaik expressed regret on Monday over the removal of black stole from women in Sundergarh, women activists of Opposition parties hit streets today and demanded apology from the BJD supremo.

Clad in black sarees, over a hundred activists of Congress party staged demonstration near Master Canteen square here and resorted to road blockade. They shouted anti-Naveen slogans for ‘hurting’ the sentiments of the women.

“The Chief Minister, who claimed to have great respect for women, has insulted the mothers at his rally. The women wearing black sarees were not allowed entry into Patnaik’s meeting. The CM should tender unconditional apology”, said Sasmita Behera, State Women Congress president.

“The police harassed the women participants at the rally in the name of CM’s security. This is really painful and unfortunate”, rued another protestor.

The saffron party too, after a brief lull, took up the issue to corner the ruling party in the ongoing Assembly. The party activists staged agitation in all the 314 blocks and urban areas protesting against dishonour of women at Patnaik’s meeting.

“For what you (Naveen) claim that you have respect for women? Is it an example”? asked an activist.

The BJD, however, accused the Opposition of making the issue out of nothing.

“Police were performing their duty for VVIP security as per protocol. The incident did not take place under CM’s direction. The local administration decides about CM’s security during his visit,” said BJD spokesman Sameer Dash.
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.’