Bhubaneswar, Dec 3:
Alleging that a mafia is ruling the Meramunduli-Talcher-Angul industrial cluster, senior Congress leader Niranjan Patnaik today asked Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to explain the action that his government proposes to take to break the nexus between company officials and police administration in the area on the floor of the Assembly.
“Police officials from the level of constables to the highest levels in the state are reaping benefits from the companies located in the cluster. Many of them are in the transport business. Some of them have got their children employed in these companies while others have given their houses on rent to these companies,” alleged Patnaik.
He accused that a senior police officer is running a shadow company that is engaged in transport business while another senior police officer has given his house in Bhubaneswar on rent to a Joint-Venture Company of MCL.
“Aren’t these clear cases of conflict of interest? How can senior officers indulge in such dubious dealings? The allegations are far too many. The least that the government can do is to investigate all these allegations. In fact, no one in Talcher is surprised by the rough and ready method adopted by the police to arrest the MLA,” said Patnaik, who visited the area to interact with the Talcher MLA Braja Kishore Pradhan yesterday.
Supporting the demand of the local MLA for a CBI probe into the mess, the former PCC president said the inquiry can expose the nexus between government officers and politicians.
He also lashed out at the Talcher Police for arresting the lawmaker in Bhubaneswar without having jurisdiction.
“They could have issued a notice under Section 160 of CrPC and if the MLA did not cooperate, they chould have applied for a non-bailable warrant. An arrest would have been justified if the police had felt that the MLA was absconding or that they need to subject him to custodial interrogation. But, the purpose was clearly to use state power to suppress a popular movement around extremely genuine public issues and intimidate the people,” said Patnaik.
He also made out a case for the inquiry to cover Bhusan steel plant, where many people have died following different incidents. The company is running the plant without having statutory clearances, he pointed out.