Odisha Police registers case against Tytler

Bhubaneswar: Senior Congress leaders Jagdish Tytler, Niranjan Patnaik and several others were on Saturday booked by police in connection with a clash between party supporters and policemen during a rally that left over 260 people injured here.

“Different cases have been registered against several Congress leaders including state Congress in-charge Jagdish Tytler and Niranjan Patnaik on various charges pertaining to Thursday’s violence,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Nitinjeet Singh said.

Welcoming the government’s decision, Niranjan Patnaik, who is Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) President, said, “Though police is acting at the behest of BJD government headed by Naveen Patnaik, we are ready to face the police case.”

Singh said five cases have so far been registered at Capital Police Station and Kharavel Nagar police station while police intensified efforts to identify and arrest those responsible for the violence. Cases were filed for various offences like criminal conspiracy, rioting, causing grievous injury, endangering lives of others, outraging modesty and mischief to destroy under different sections of IPC and Prevention of Destruction of Public Property Act, police said.

While over 34 people have so far been arrested for the violence and attack on a woman constable, who was critically injured, more arrests are likely after identification of culprits with the help of CCTV footage, according to Assistant Commissioner of Police Nihar Das.

Thousands of Congress workers clashed with police on MG Road on Thursday while trying to picket the state Assembly building demanding resignation of Patnaik over the Coalgate row leaving around 260 people, including 60 police personnel injured.

In the aftermath of the clash, the ruling BJD and opposition Congress traded charges blaming each other for the violence that took place near the Assembly building.

While Congress leaders accused the police of jumping the barricade and attacking party demonstrators who were proceeding to court arrest, BJD charged the protesters with going on a rampage and indulging in hooliganism.

Congress has given a call for an Odisha bandh on Monday against alleged police excesses at the rally while the students and women wings of the ruling BJD are staging a dharna here on saturday against ‘goonda raj’ by Congressmen. Countering the government’s claim, Congress leaders said that violence took place because of failure on the part of the police to make adequate arrangements for controlling the crowd and dealing with the situation.

Terming the police deployment during the rally as faulty, Leader of the Opposition in assembly Bhupinder Singh and chief whip Prasad Harichandan said SOG, SSB and IRB were deployed though they are not meant and trained for handling law and order problem.

Niranjan Patnaik alleged that the BJD government was misusing administrative machinery and trying to stifle people’s voice and democratic processes. Congress has also demanded a thorough probe into the incident either by a sitting High Court Judge of Lokpal. A party delegation had met the Governor to press their demand.

Meanwhile, State Women’s Commission has launched a probe into the incident involving attack on the woman cop who was dragged, pushed and kicked by the mob. Chairperson of the Commission Jyoti Panigrahi, who met the woman constable in hospital, said, “We have started an investigation. The manner in which she was heckled and assaulted needs to be condemned.”

Odisha Human Rights Commission (OHRC) has also issued notice to the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Bhubaneswar, asking him to submit a report on the lady constable attack case.