BJD, BJP men come to blows near IOCL function venue

Paradip: Hours before the dedication ceremony of the IOCL refinery at Paradip, activists of BJD and BJP came to blows near the venue for the function and Jagatsinghpur.

While some BJD and BJP activists engaged in beating each other, some resorted to argument with police officers deployed at the venue.

Some political activists also tried to barge into the venue by breaking the security barricades. The tense situation continued till the arrival of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the IOCL refinery.

BJP leader Bhurgu Bauxipatra said, “BJD activists have become intolerant. Some of them blocked the road yesterday night and did not allow BJP activists to reach the venue.”

Commenting on the charges, BJP MLA Debashis Samantray, who was seen smothering his party activists, said, “They (BJP) do not have enough activists present at the venue and are making false allegations,” adding that his party MLA Pramod Mallick was attacked by BJP workers.

Some BJD activists allegedly stopped BJP vehicles near Sarala Road in Tirtol while some members of the ruling party at other places pelted stones at BJP activists travelling towards Paradip. At least 15 vehicles from both the political parties were damaged at different places.

Niali MLA Pramod Mallick, who was on his way to the function, was also allegedly attacked by BJP activists.

Mallick said, “Some irate BJP activists holding BJP flags stopped my vehicle and took me out of it. They thrashed me on the road and asked me to walk with them shouting slogans hailing Dharmendra Pradhan.”

Congress chief whip Tara Prasad Bahinipati said, “The way BJD and BJP activists had a face-off, it does not augur well for state politics in coming days. This is a very unfortunate and mean thing.”