Opp seeks action for breach of Sec 144 during BJD students’ convention

Bhubaneswar: Taking strong exception to the flagrant violation of the prohibitory order by the BJD activists during the convention of Biju Chhatra Janata Dal, the Opposition today demanded legal action against the guilty.

According to reports, about 500 students, under the banner of Biju Chhatra Janata Dal (BCJD) and led by Sports and Youth Services minister Sudam Marandi, arrived at the venue at the Swadhinata Sangrami Padia in a rally via Mahatma Gandhi Marg from AG Square and the State Secretariat where the administration had clamped prohibitory order under Section 144.

Condemning the blatant violation of the prohibitory order, BJP spokesperson Sajjan Sharma, while terming the incident as ‘grossly unfortunate’, accused the government of maintaining double standards.

“The government has one set of rules for the ruling party and the other set of rules for the Opposition. There is no action against any worker of the ruling party for violating the rules while it is treated as illegal for others”, he pointed out.

Criticising the incident, Congress spokesperson Sulochana Das said while the chief minister is in charge of law and order, his party workers are opening violating them in present of the ministers and MLAs.

“Would the government have spared the Opposition if it had done the same?”, she asked while demanding action against the guilty.

Responding to the reaction of the Opposition, Steel and Mines minister Prafulla Samal, who had participated in the rally, said the students had no knowledge about the imposition of prohibitory order in the area as they were new to the place. Besides, most of the students arrived at the venue through the prohibitory zone from the city railway station. “But they did not create any disturbance during their rally to the venue”, he pointed out.

In his clarification, minister Sudam Marandi said all places in the city come under prohibitory zone.

“The fact is that the students, while going through the prohibitory areas, had not created any disturbance. Like the pedestrians, they were on the way to the venue. I had not called any one to join the rally. Rather, the people joined the rally suo motu”, Marandi said.

Admitting that it is not right to take out rally in a prohibited zone, BJD spokesperson Samir Das claimed that the BCJD students were not in the rally and they were just passing through the prohibited zone. “These students were not in a rally though some says that it was a rally,” he added.