Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Mar 13:
Five months after the mass demonstration by political parties against the Ghangapatna land scam, Odisha Police has summoned four innocent villagers of Ghangapatna on March 10.
The four men. identified as Sibu Behera, Hemant Behera, Santosh Sahu and Madan Mohan Sahu, have been accused of digging the village road and misbehaving with the cops on September 25, 2014.
The state BJP leadership had organized a mass demonstration in Ghangapatna demanding a CBI investigation to the scam that day. After a meeting in the village, the leaders and workers of the party had dug up the road and had planted saplings there claiming the road to be illegal.
Chandka Police had gone on to uproot the saplings after the BJP leaders left the spot. That is when some of the villagers had an argument with the cops.
The men had no clue about cases being filed against them over this incident as they had nothing to do with the BJP demonstration.
“I had earlier braved the goons for the protection of Kerandia Dam. BJP leaders had felicitated me on that day for my act. The cops are now taking revenge on me because of that,” accused Sibu Behera.
It may be noted that the Jatni unit of Odisha Congress had also dug up the road and had planted saplings a month earlier on August 27.
The cops, who never filed cases against the leaders of any of these political parties, are now targeting the innocent villagers who bravely stood up against a scam.
Earlier, the cops had arrested nine tribal villagers for selling leased lands, while revenue department officials had pocketed the valuable land and made crores by cancelling the lease dismissal order. Some of these officials and brokers have also been arrested.
“These four men dug up the road and had misbehaved with the cops on the day,” said In-charge of Chandka Police Station.
How the cops managed to identify these four people from a large crowd remains a moot question and gives an impression of Odisha police trying to act as government agents and suppress protest against illegal activities.