Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Dhenkanal/Bhubaneswar, Feb 8:

Describing Tarabha murder as a pre-planned conspiracy Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan today demanded an impartial probe into the incident and suggested to hand it over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).


“Tarabha murder is a well conceived pre-planned conspiracy. Crime Branch is incapable of conducting an impartial probe. If the state government wants to have an impartial probe it should handover the probe to the CBI,” said Pradhan who was on a visit to Tarabha to meet and console the bereaved family of deceased BJP worker Salman Rout.

The Union Minister compared the thrashing of women family members by policemen in the presence of the Superintendent of while Salman’s body was being brought to his home reminiscent to the killing of martyr Baji Rout by the imperialist British during their colonial rule in India.

“The incident of the beating of women family members of Salman in the presence of the SP by male police while they were standing to get the deceased’s body can be compared to that of the situation that would have taken place when imperialist Britishers had killed Baji Rout,” stated Pradhan.

On the other hand, the BJD has accused the BJP of giving political colour to the unfortunate Tarabha incident.

“He should present this allegation before the investigating agency with all details and evidence. Tarabha incident is an unfortunate incident. This is a solitary incident of Dhenkanal district. The incident should not be politicized when polls are being held. People of Odisha will not buy it. The state government has not been lax in its investigation of the incident and based on preliminary investigation accused persons have been arrested. The state government has made no attempt to cover up the incident nor is going to spare anyone since Naveen Patnaik-led government respects the law of the land,” said Sashi Bhusan Behera BJD spokesperson in his reaction on Pradhan’s allegation.

Salman was shot dead on Saturday night. The State Election Commission (SEC) has on Tuesday recommended the state government for a Crime Branch probe into the murder.

Worth mentioning, Salman Rout a BJP worker of Tarabha village in Dhenkanal district was shot at by unidentified miscreants on Saturday night following which he was admitted to the District Headquarters Hospital in a profusely bleeding condition. However, he succumbed to his injuries while undergoing treatment at the hospital.

Police have arrested Byomkesh Biswal, an OSAP jawan posted in Keonjhar, for his alleged complicity in the case.

Prohibitory orders were enforced in Tarabha on Sunday after mob set ablaze the house of Biswal, tractor, motorcycles and heaps of paddy crops stashed in the backyard.

The BJP had observed a 12-hour dawn-to-dusk bandh in Odisha’s Dhenkanal district on Monday in protest against the killing of their party activist Rout.

The party on Tuesday staged demonstrations and held protest meetings against the killing of its party worker in all sub divisional headquarters across the state. The party while alleging involvement of local MLA and Mines Minister Prafulla Mallick in the conspiracy had demanded his arrest.

Notably, two groups had clashed in the village over putting up of posters for the upcoming three-tier panchayat polls in the state. It was alleged that Byomkesh pumped bullets into Salman’s chest from point-blank range.