Havildar suspended for handcuffing OJM leader

Bhubaneswar: The commissionrate of police today placed a havildar rank policeman under suspension for his alleged act of handcuffing an Opposition party leader who had been jailed on charges of financial irregularities.
 
"We have placed the Havildar concerned under suspension following a departmental inquiry on the handcuffing allegation," deputy commissioner of police (DCP) Nitinjit Singh told reporters here.
 
The police on Tuesday handcuffed Odisha Jana Morcha (OJM) secretary general Jagneswar while bringing him to produce at a vigilance court from the Jharpada special jail.
 
However, police had to unlock the cuffs following protests from lawyers present in the court.
 
Jagneswar was arrested on May 1 by the state vigilance department on charges of illegally sanctioning loans worth Rs 36 crore to a cooperative sugar mill of which he was also the president. He disbursed loan to a sugar mill as the president of the Odisha State Cooperative Bank.
 
Jagneswar, also a former BJD general secretary, had sided with Rajya Sabha MP Pyarimohan Mohapatra when he formed the OJM following his expulsion from the ruling party for allegedly plotting a coup against Patnaik in May last year.
 
"Jagneswar was handcuffed by the police on the instruction of the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who is also the home minister," alleged Mohapatra.
 
Jagneswar's lawyer Suman Biswal alleged that the police have flouted the Supreme Court guideline, which clearly said that even hardcore criminals cannot be handcuffed without prior permission of the court.
 
Opposition parties Congress and BJP also criticised the incident.