Ramesh Jena arrest: Congress to gherao IG office on Mar 11

Bhubaneswar: To protest against the arrest of Congress leader and former MLA from Sanakhemundi Ramesh Jena, the party has decided to gherao the office of the Inspector General (southern range) on March 11.

Congress chief whip Taraprasad Bahinipati, who met IG Amitabh Thakur today and sought permission to meet the arrested leader, said the demonstration will be carried out by party activists under the leadership of PCC president Prasad Harichandan. He also enquired about the health condition of Jena.

“We demand to meet him (Ramesh Jena). Police are torturing the family members and relatives of Jena, which is a violation of Supreme Court guidelines. They should be immediately released. We will stage protest against it on March 11,” the lawmaker from Jeypore said.

Ganjam DCC president Bhagaban Gantayat and OPCC general secretary Bikram Panda accompanied Bahinipati to the office of IG.

Senior party leader Lalatendu Bidyadhar Mohapatra (Lulu) has also come down heavily on the ruling BJD over the arrest of Jena. “BJD is now panicking over the rising popularity of Ramesh Jena in Hinjilikatu area of Ganjam. So, it has engaged police to nab him in view of forthcoming panchayat election,” Mohapatra alleged.

“If police want to know about his suspected link with Dhalasamant brothers, let them ask me first,” Lulu added.

On a similar note, Odisha BJP spokesperson Sajjan Sharma said “The state government should clarify on what charges and basis Ramesh has been arrested. We also demand action against the members of the ruling-BJD who are involved in such criminal activities.”

Reacting to Lulu’s statement, BJD has said Congress should refrain from supporting criminals. “ I fail to understand why Congress is supporting people having criminal backgrounds. Many cases are pending against Ramesh Jena, who has been arrested yessterday,” BJD spokesperson Pratap Jena said.

Ramesh, along with his father Arakshita and three of his associates were sent to jail today after a court turned down their bail pleas.

A team of Berhampur Police on Sunday arrested Jena along with his three associates from Bhubaneswar in connection with the February 29 bomb explosion in the house of a local corporator.