Dama, Sarkhel in war of words over Paradip firing

Bhubaneswar: Less than 24 hours after the firing incident at Paradip in which two youths were injured seriously, senior BJD leader and Excise minister Damodar Rout and his arch rival Congress leader Bapi Sarkhel on Monday engaged in war of words blaming each other for the incident.

While Rout made a veiled attack on Sarkhel, the Congress leader lose no time in retaliating.

“After release from jail, some criminals became Congress party candidates. If they won’t do something like this, what else would they do?” asked the minister without naming Sarkhel.

While spewing venom at the youth leader, Rout also targeted the Crime Branch for its ‘inaction’.

“I have heard that Odisha has promulgated an Economic Offenders Act. But I don’t know what’s the use of it and where it is used? I don’t know what the Crime Branch is doing either. I have always allowed the law to take its own course,” Rout said.

On the other hand, Sarkhel blamed the septuagenarian leader for instigating criminal activities in the port town.

“He (Dama Rout) takes my name even when a person dies in an accident. He does this to save his political image. He has always tried to dub me an antisocial. But I will say he does all anti-social activities in Paradip through his followers,” Sarkhel stated.

“His party is in power. If we are doing any such unsocial work, then why are the police not arresting us? Whatever is happening is Paradip is happening at the instance of Dama Babu,” said the Congress leader.

Last night, two youths received bullet injuries near Tarinigada in the port town when they were returning home. The injured were rushed to Biju Memorial Hospital in Paradip but were later shifted to the SCB Medical College and hospital in Cuttack. As per the latest reports, the duo is undergoing treatment in a private hospital in Bhubaneswar.