Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Feb 12:
Speaker Niranjan Pujari asked the Odisha government to reply to the Opposition allegation about the involvement of Handlooms, Textiles and Handicrafts Minister Snehangini Chhuria in an abduction case in the House tomorrow.
Bedlam in the Odisha Assembly forced the Speaker to adjourn the House repeatedly today as the Opposition Congress rushed into the well accusing the government of shielding Chhuria and demanding a reply from the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who also holds the Home portfolio.
Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra submitted a privilege motion on this issue alleging government inaction.
The Congress members sought reply from the government as to why Chhuria’s name was dropped from the FIR despite her name being mentioned in the complaint.
Uproarious scenes prevailed in the House over the alleged abduction of an elderly person–Sugriba Ranbida– before the election to Rushuda Credit Cooperative Society under Bheden block of Bargarh district in January this year.
“Exclusion of the minister’s name from the case shows there is an attempt to shield her,” Mishra alleged.
The pandemonium forced the Speaker to adjourn the House till 12:15 PM and again till 12:30 PM. The Speaker directed the government to give a statement in the Assembly tomorrow, soon after the House reassembled post the adjournments.
In his privilege notice, Mishra said he had made a special mention under Rule 116-D of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Odisha Assembly on February 9 on kidnapping of Sugriba Ranbida, which was reported before the OIC, Rusuda outpost on January 25.
The senior Congress leader sought to know why police did not register a case on January 25 against Snehangini Chhuria. Besides, what action was taken against the OIC for not registering the case in violation of the law and directions of the Supreme Court.
The Bolangir MLA also asked why the minister’s name was not mentioned in the FIR on January 29 after the person in question, Sugriba, personally lodged the report before the Bargarh SP.
“Despite a report being lodged against Chhuria, why no case has been registered and why no investigation has been launched? This shows that there is an attempt to shield the minister,” Mishra alleged.
The report submitted by the Home Department on Wednesday was silent on action taken on the points raised in the special mention which was in contravention to Rule-116-D(2) of the Assembly, Mishra pointed out.
It may be recalled that Sugriba Ranbida, hailing from Hatagaon village, had levelled allegations against Snehangini Chhuria of abducting him to prevent him from exercising his franchise during the Rushuda Credit Cooperative Society election. Sugriba had alleged that he was kidnapped by minister’s men and kept at several places in the Odisha capital, including her official residence.