Pradhan slams Odisha CM over law & order situation

Senior BJP leader and Union Minister for Education, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Dharmendra Pradhan, on Sunday slammed Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik over the deteriorating law and order situation in the state.

Speaking to the media here, Pradhan said: “Naba Das, an influential Cabinet Minister, was murdered on January 29. However, no one has any clue about why a police officer killed him.”

“The Chief Minister, who also holds the Home portfolio, has remained silent on this incident while the DGP is trying to shrug off his responsibility. This tells a lot about the law and order situation in the state,” Pradhan said.

Raising questions about a Crime Branch probe under the monitoring of a retired judge of Orissa High Court, he said: “The judge was not appointed under the Commissions of Inquiry Act, 1952. There is no clarity about the responsibility and power of the retired judge.”

“In between, some people (Biju Janata Dal leaders) are saying that a Crime Branch investigation is going on. But the Crime Branch investigation is totally unacceptable. The case should be investigated by a third party,” said the Union Minister.

Murder of the Minister is not just a single case, many other law and order cases have happened in the state, he said, referring to Mahanga double murder case and Anand Tappo murder case and the alleged sexual harassment case against a BJD MLA, where FIRs were registered only after the intervention of Orissa High Court.

“Only two days ago, a Balasore sub-collector and his driver were attacked by the sand mafia, when the officer was going to stop illegal sand mining. All these incidents show ‘lawlessness’ in Odisha,” said the Union Minister.

“What is going on in Odisha? Who is holding the power? Who is ruling the state?” he said.

Meanwhile, senior Congress MLA Narasingha Mishra demanded a Court-monitored SIT probe into the murder case.

“We do not have any faith in the Odisha police. Though several capable officers are there in the state, the government is not allowing them to work independently,” Mishra said.

Raising questions on the ongoing Crime Branch investigation, the Congress leader said: “When the bullet had pierced into the heart and lungs, the Minister might have died on the spot. Why was a drama created by air-lifting him to Bhubaneswar?”

The Chief Minister should step down and appoint a capable person as Home minister, he added.

Commenting on Pradhan’s statement, BJD spokesperson Sasmit Patra said: “In the BJP-ruled states, there have been very sensational cases, whether it is liquor tragedy or bridge collapse leading to the deaths of many people and also crimes against women. People demanded judicial enquiry but in most cases it was never done.

“The only intention of Pradhan is to politicise every criminal case and create a political narrative,” he said.

“The state is transparent and has given this case to be monitored by a High Court judge nominated by the Orissa High Court. What’s there to hide for us?” Patra questioned.




Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here