Reported by Santosh Jagdev
Bhubaneswar, Jan 3:
In their over-eagerness to ensure the hassle-free movement for Chief Minister and BJD boss Naveen Patnaik in the capital city in the backdrop of the breach of his security during a Navnirman Kushak Sangha (NKS) protest near the secretariat recently, the Commissionerate police have taken things to ridiculous lengths.
On Friday, they detained a Congress candidate and prevented him from campaigning in his ward for the upcoming BMC polls apprehending ‘trouble’ , five full hours ahead of an election meeting Patnaik was scheduled to address in the area.
Suryamani Rout, the Congress candidate from Ward No 5, was detained at 11 am while he was on his way to the Chakeisiani area in the city to campaign, after what Commissionerate police called an ‘intelligence input’ that he might create trouble during the Chief Minister’s meeting.
Rout was whisked away to the police station and kept there almost all day.
Interestingly, Patnaik’s meeting at Sriram Nagar basti was scheduled for 4 pm, five hours after his arrest.
On getting information about Rout’s arrest, hundreds of his supporters rushed to the Mancheswar police station and gheraoed it demanding immediate release of their leader. They heckled the Mancheswar IIC Bharat Sahoo and demanded to know which law Rout had been detained under.
Speaking from police custody, Rout said it was a conspiracy to malign him before the voters by making him appear to be a criminal.
“The police action is completely illegal and designed to help my opponents,” he said.
Rout is pitted against Nirmal Rout of BJD, Santosh Mohanty of BJP and two independents – Anup Khuntia and Babuli Behera – in Ward No 5.
Asked about the detention of Rout, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Bishnu Mishra said; “We took Rout into custody as a preventive measure since we had intelligence input that he is planning to create disturbance at the Chief Minister’s election meeting. He will be released after the CM’s meeting is over.”