Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Aug 13:
The Odisha government today said it is waiting for the report of the Director General of Police (DGP) Sanjeev Marik on alleged police excesses under the direct supervision of the then SP Satish Gajbhiye during the stand-off over controversial self-styled god man Sarathi Baba in Kendrapara town on August 7 and Gajbhiye’s alleged illegal acquisition of land in Gop area of Puri district.
“We are aware of all that has happened since August 7. We are waiting for a report from the DGP on the allegations of excessive use of force against Gajbhiye. Wwe have also taken note of media reports on illegal acquisition of land by the former Kendrapara SP and are conducting an inquiry into it. Action will be taken if he is found guilty. No one will be spared,” Home secretary Asit Tripathy told media persons said here today.
Significantly, this was the first time the Home secretary, or anyone from the government for that matter, has spoken on the issue since the Sarathi Baba affair burst into media limelight. So far, it was the Samir Dashes and the Debashish Samantrays, BJD party spokespersons, who have done the talking on behalf of the government.
The DGP, in turn. is awaiting a report on police excesses in Kendrapara under Gajbhiye’s command from Central Range IG RP Koche.
“I have asked Central Range IG RP Koche to submit a report on the whole incident. Appropriate action would be taken on the basis of the report,” Marik told reporters here today.
It may be mentioned that the Odisha government had transferred Gajbhiye with immediate effect following the police brutality on the people on August 6 and 7 while they were demanding the arrest of the controversial godman Sarathi Baba.
The former SP had not only failed to rein in his men who went berserk attacking all and sundry, he did not spare even those who had nothing to do with the protests. Even as the clamour for his arrest grew shriller, Gajbhiye defiantly defended his action in a Facebook post which he was forced to take off after being ticked off by his superiors.
The High Court Bar Association has already given an ultimatum to the government to act against Gajbhiye by tomorrow failing which it has threatened to disrupt the independence day celebrations.
The BJP has announced that it would gherao the DGP office tomorrow while the Congress has said it would gherao the Raj Bhavan if action is not taken against Gajbhiye by Friday.
All this leaves the government with no more than 24 hours to act against Gajbhiye.