Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Dec 7:

Amid hullabaloo over the incident of forcible removal of black stoles/scarves/shawls worn by women at the venue of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s meeting in Sundargarh district, the CM today made a statement in the Odisha Assembly over the issue.


“I strongly share the concern of this august House on the issue of security personnel removing black odhni of girls in a government programme in Sundargarh district on the 4th of this month,” Patnaik said.

“When I came to know of this incident, I was personally shocked. I had called the Home Secretary and Director General of Police and warned against such conduct which denigrates human dignity and warned against repetition,” the CM said.

“The DGP has been asked to conduct an inquiry in this matter and take appropriate action on the defaulting security personnel. The Inspector General of Police, Western Range, Rourkela is already inquiring into this incident,” he said.

“My government is sensitive and fully committed for empowerment and preserving the dignity of women. I am also against causing inconvenience to people while enforcing security protocol and had earlier directed police several times in this regard,” he added.

Earlier in the day in the Assembly, BJP members created ruckus after rushing to the well of the House as party member Radharani Panda’s request to speak over the issue was rejected by Speaker Niranjan Pujari.

BJP MLA Rabi Nayak tried to snatch the Speaker’s microphone and some documents. Unable to run the House, Pujari adjourned the Assembly initially for 10 minutes and again for 20 minutes.

Notably, security agencies (including Odisha police) in charge of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s event at Mangaspur in Sundargarh district on December 4 were seen forcing women participants to take off their black colour stoles and shawls before entering the meeting venue.

Even though many of the women were visibly upset and did protest, some of the women constables were seen pushing and shoving them in a bid to ensure no one uses garments as black flags or use them as a mean to oppose the Chief Minister.