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Uproar in Assembly over use of Sec 307 against egg pelting YC activists

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Feb 21:

The Odisha Assembly today wtinessed uproarious scenes with opposition members lambasting the government for registering attempt to murder charges against activists of the Youth Congress, who threw eggs at the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s carcade on Thursday.

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Raising the issue during Zero Hour, Congress chief whip Taraparasad Bahinipati demanded a statement fron the Chief Minister on the issue saying the police had registered ‘false cases’ against the activists.

As if on cue, opposition members rushed to the well of the House and created a rucusu forcing the Speaker to adjourn the House for half an hour. The House had to be adjourned twice more during the day with the Opposition raking up the issue on resumption every time.

The issue figured again in  the afternoon during the discussion on the budget.

“There have been many such protests in the past where Chief Mministers have been shown black flags and pelted stones. But never before has case under Section 307 been registered against protesters,’ said Basanta Kumar Panda, leader of the BJP  Lgislature Party.

However, BJD spokesperson Rohit Pujari defended the police action saying; “Everyone has a right to protest in a democracy. But when stones and eggs are hurled at the Chief Minister, it can only be called goondagardi (hooliganism).”

Meanwhile, the security cordon of Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has been tightened further following the egg pelting at his carcade on Thursday.

While 14-15 vehicles were already part of the convoy, another three have been added to it. Two vehicles out of these will move along on the right and left side of his car creating an impenetrable circle.  Experienced police officials along with Special Operation Group (SOG) commandoes will escort the CM.

“The deployment of security forces has also been heightened along the regular routes he follows. We will also deploy a few highly experienced police officials in his carcade. We will also take strong action against the miscreants of Thursday incident,” said Director General of Police Sanjeev Marik.

The changes in security of the CM was noticed today when the DCP of Commissionerate Police Satyabrat Bhoi himself was seen piloting the CM’s carcade all through the day.

Yestrerday, while the roads he passed through were blocked well in advance, Hotel Ccrown in the city, where he attended an event, was completely fortified. Cops were seen on guard behind the dias he was sitting, in the event hall and around the venue.

The Chief Minister, however, continues to give headache to the security agencies as he prefers to use his Maruti SX4 rather than the two bullet proof cars that are part of his convoy.

These bullet proof cars along with a jammer were added to his entourage following the terrorist threat issued by the Intelligence Bureau (IB) in January. Security had also been enhanced around the CM, his residence Naveen Niwas, Assembly and Secretariat at that time.

Meanwhile, the first phase of the budget session of the Odisha Assembly ended after it was adjourned today. The House would reassemble for the second phase on March 11 till its conclusion on April 4.

The first phase of the ongoing session of the House had begun on February 6.