Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Dec 5:
After being criticized from all quarters, BJD MLA Priyadarshi Mishra today expressed regrets in Odisha assembly for referring to 1991 ‘human bomb’ incident while attempting to justify detention of students in Rama Devi Women’s University.
“I was talking about the VVIP security issue. I had no intention of speaking about the students of Rama Devi University. I am affectionate towards them. I express regrets, if anyone has been hurt over my statement,” said Bhubaneswar North MLA Mishra.
The students- mostly NSUI supporters, however, were not satisfied with the regret. As per latest reports, the students burnt his effigy in front of his official residence in Bhubaneswar this evening. Besides, the students and security personnel clashed for a brief during the agitation.
Earlier in the day, Mishra spoke about the ‘human bomb’ incident to defend the alleged detention of students for VVIP security.
“Being in uniform or not doesn’t matter. Back in 1991, some of the women blew up the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi just like this. Usually special attention is paid towards the security aspects during VVIP meetings. The Chief Minister has nothing to do with the happenings there. Why should he apologize,” said Mishra while attempting to defend Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik amidst growing opposition demands for an apology from him.
Upon being questioned by journalists on his comparison between the students of RD University with the women involved in 1991 incident, Mishra was quick enough to add, “I am not saying that. The girls were initially barred entry as they attempted to enter without uniform and identity card. Later when they attempted to enter again between 11:40 – 11:45 AM they were barred as the meeting had already started”.
The damage, however, was done and the opposition parties started pinning him down over the comment.
“Legendary Biju Patnaik was once the leader of the (parent) party. He used to thank the people who opposed him in public meetings. He once directed the government to not lodge police complaints against the students who gheraoed the assembly. It is unfortunate that an MLA of that party is making such statements. Besides, comparing the students of Odisha with LTTE is outright offending to the state. We condemn it,” said Congress MLA Naba Kishore Das.
“The girls that were detained are students of that university. Comparing them to LTTE and citing threat to the Chief Minister’s life from them is not only unfortunate but also condemnable,” said BJP MLA Pradeep Purohit.