Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Dec 6:
A day after forcing Odisha Assembly into adjournment over the black stole controversy, opposition Congress and BJP today upped the ante and took out rallies and held demonstrations across the state demanding resignation of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
Draped in black garments as a mark of protest, dozens of Congress women wing workers blocked Master Canteen square and shouted slogans against Odisha Government and Patnaik. Later they filed an FIR in Mahila police station of Bhubaneswar.
“This incident has not only violated the fundamental rights of women but also has humiliated the entire womankind. We demand resignation of the Chief Minister. Also, strict action against needs to be taken against the police SP and collector,” said Mahila Congress President Sasmita Behera.
Odisha unit of BJP took out rallies across all 314 blocks and NACs of the state, said Odisha BJP women wing Chief Prabhati Parida.
Besides, they lodged a written complaint with the Odisha Human Rights Commission (OHRC) alleging that police and BJD workers forcibly removed black stoles/scarves/shawls worn by women at the venue. She further alleged that some even had groped the women.
Biju Janata Dal, on the other hand, accused the opposition of flaring up the issue for electoral gains.
“Whatever happened at the meeting venue is unfortunate. The Chief Minister had no knowledge of it. He, anyway, has already ordered an investigation. Demanding resignation and holding demonstrations don’t make much sense anymore. I believe, with panchayat polls in mind, Congress and BJP are playing it up for electoral dividends,” said BJD Spokesperson Samir Dash.
It may be mentioned here that Chief Minister Patnaik yesterday had ordered police DG KB Singh to conduct an inquiry into the incident of police removing black stoles of women before allowing them entry into his meeting venue at Sundergarh district on December 4.