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Case against Odisha MP for comment on Biju samadhi

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Puri, Jan 4:

A case has been registered against Bhubaneswar MP Prasanna Patsani at the Town police station here today for his comment on the court order asking the district administration to demolish the samadhi of legendary Odisha leader Biju Patnaik at Swargadwar, the cremation ground for Hindus here.

Pic: Biswaranjan Mishra
Pic: Biswaranjan Mishra

In a statement that has been construed as contempt of court, the senior BJD leader had said that anyone who demolishes the tomb of the former Chief Minister would be given samadhi at the place.

“Biju Babu was a national leader. Those who are talking of demolishing his samadhi are only displaying the typical Odia trait of pulling down others. Whoever tries to demolishes the samadhi of Biju Babu would be given samadhi at the place,” Patsani had said in a statement carried in a section of the media today.

The voluble Bhubaneswar MP had clearly forgotten that it was a court that had ordered the demolition of the samadhi and not any individual or group.

After the case was filed today, Patsani sought to wriggle out of the controversy saying; ‘The media has misinterpreted my comments. There should be no politics over the issue.”

Legal experts say Patsani can be hauled up under sections 500 and 501 of the IPC, which can land him in jail for up to three years.  Since the statement constitutes a threat, he can also be booked under section 506, which provides for imprisonment for up to seven years, they have pointed out.

Significantly, neither Chief Minister and BJD president Naveen Patnaik, the son of Biju Patnaik, nor any of his party’s 10 spokespersons have commented on the court order delivered on December 27. The only BJDd leader to have opened his mouth on the issue has been Puri MLA Maheswar Mohanty, who has said that an appeal would be filed against the order on the ground that the government was not heard before the ruling was given by the court.