Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Kendrapara/Cuttack, Apr 22:
Kendrapara police today rounded up 12 persons in connection with the assault on Marshaghai Block Development Officer (BDO) Sushant Kumar Pati in the district headquarter town of Kendrapara in Odisha on April 18 as OAS officers in the district continued with their pen down agitation demanding action against people who manhandled a fellow officer.
The arrests were made after police raided several places to nab the accused persons.
The police claimed to have the ‘evidence’ of the involvement of these people in the attack, after the preliminary investigations conducted by them.
District Superintendent of Police Rabi Narayan Behera said those arrested mostly belong to opposition Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party.
“Efforts are on to nab others,” he said.
Although the prohibitory orders were lifted from most places Monday, they will remain in force in Aul, Rajkanika and part of Mahakalpada police station area until Friday, Behera said.
On the other hand, official work has come to a standstill as a result of the pen down agitation of the OAS officers in Kendrapara district, who continued with their pen down agitation for the second day today and wore black badges to protest the police failure to arrest those who had assaulted the Marsaghai BDO.
Office bearers of the Odisha Administrative Service (OAS) Association met DGP Prakash Mishra at the police headquarters in Cuttack and submitted a memorandum in this connection.
The officers’ decision to go for a pen down agitation was taken at an emergency meeting of the Kendrapara district unit of the OAS officers association here on Monday, which was chaired by the additional district magistrate Umakanta Swain.
The meeting, while condemning against the attack on BDO Sushant Kumar Pati in strongest terms, demanded immediate arrest of and severest punishment to Pati’s attackers. It also sought compensation for Pati towards defamation and loss of property caused to him following the incident.
The officers’ body warned of a state-wide agitation if the government failed to respond positively to their demands.
The Cuttack district unit of the officers’ association today lent its support to their Kendrapara colleagues and wore black badges in protest the attack on the BDO as well as police inaction over arrests and also warned of a statewide agitation if things were not sorted out at the earliest.
Earlier, the Odisha Administrative Service (OAS) Association had threatened to boycott poll duty including the counting of votes on May 16 if its demand for the arrest of persons responsible for the attack on BDO is not met by Monday.
A delegation of the officers’ body led by its secretary Jyoti Ranjan Mishra had on Saturday met Chief Electoral Officer, Dr Mona Sharma and submitted a memorandum to her.
Marsaghai BDO Pati was on Friday physically assaulted by a mob at Kendrapara town after a vehicle loaded with EVMs was found parked in front of his official residence. Suspecting that the EVMs were being taken to the officer’s residence for tampering, the mob assaulted him and others, besides ransacking his official residence.
Later the EVMs seized from near Pati’s house were found to be unused and reserved for replacement, if required, during the polling.