Tytler, Niranjan booked, Congress files counter FIR

Bhubaneswar: Senior Congress leaders Jagdish Tytler and Niranjan Patnaik were on Saturday booked by the police for Thursday’s clash between party supporters and police during a rally here, while the Congress filed two counter FIRs against the police.

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

Eight cases have so far been registered at the Capital Police Station and Kharavel Nagar police station while efforts were being made to identify those who indulged in the violence during the Congress rally, a senior police official said.

The charges included criminal conspiracy, rioting, causing grievous injury, endangering lives of others, outraging modesty and mischief under IPC and Prevention of Destruction of Public Property Act, he said.

While over 34 persons were arrested for violence and attack on a woman constable, who was critically injured, more arrests are likely after identification of culprits from video footage, Assistant Commissioner of Police Nihar Das said.

Photos of those who indulged in violence were being collected to be sent to all police stations across the state and people who helped in nabbing them would be given cash rewards, police sources said. The Congress, on the other hand, filed counter FIRs against policemen for attack on partymen and for trespassing into Congress Bhavan.

Though the PCC chief claimed that a complaint was lodged against Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, a police official said no specific name was mentioned in the two FIRs filed by Congressmen.

“Neither the chief minister nor any particular police personnel was named,” he said. Commissioner of Police Sunil Roy said, “We have received two FIRs from Congress leaders. The allegations are being examined and we will take steps as per law.”

Demanding a judicial inquiry, Tytler said, “Let them do what they want, but there is a rule of law after all. Law will take care, the judge will also be there. Let them do the inquiry, let them do a judicial inquiry. Everything will be clear, whose conspiracy was it and whose isn’t.

The OPCC chief alleged that the chief minister conspired to foil the Congress rally on September six. “Instead of arresting our people who broke the cordon, police beat them up mercilessly,” he said, welcoming the government action and said he was ready to face it.

Thousands of Congress workers clashed with the police on Thursday while trying to picket the assembly building demanding ouster of the chief minister over Coalgate. The ruling BJD held a protest dharna here during the day with the Biju Yuva Janata Dal, Biju Mahila Janata Dal and Biju Chhatra Dal and several MLAs participating.

BJD’s women wing president Pramila Mallick condemned the assault on the woman constable. “We demand stringent punishment to those who assaulted her.” The state commission for women (SCW) started a probe into assault on the constable and the Odisha Human Rights Commission has issued notice to the police seeking a report.

Congress has given a call for an Odisha bandh on Monday in protest against alleged police excesses at their rally.