Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Sambalpur, Mar 4:
Five BJP workers were today hospitalized following a face-off with Odisha Police while on their way to gherao Sambalpur DIG office.
The incident occurred when the women and youth wing workers of BJP took out a rally to gherao Sambalpur DIG office and attempted to submit him a memorandum seeking faster inquiry into the February 27 incident where women workers of BJP and Congress were whisked away by the police from their homes late at night.
“The ladies were demonstrating peacefully against the February 27 incident when the police started pushing them around and used force. I don’t understand what this government wants! I don’t understand why is the ruling party is so insecure even though the police belong to them and the Chief Minister himself is the Home Minister. The day is not far when this government would come tumbling down like a house of cards,” said a visibly agitated BJP Mahila Morcha President Simantini Jena.
Sambalpur SDPO, however, refuted charges of use of force.
“The BJP workers were attempting to gherao the office of the northern range DIG. The police had taken adequate precautions. Some of the agitators attempted to break the cordon and had a minor brawl with the cops. Some of the agitators fainted because of the heat and exhaustion around the same time. However, the police did not use force,” clarified Sambalpur SDPO Susil Kumar Panigrahi.
Notably, Sambalpur Police whisked off many women workers and leaders of BJP and Congress from their houses and detained them at the police stations all night long on the eve of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s tour to Sambalpur on February 27.
This had led to egg pelting at police stations and widespread protests in the town by both the parties as we reported here.