Sambalpur: BJP central team on Tuesday demanded CBI probe into the violence erupted between two communities during Hanuman Jayanti processions in Sambalpur city last month.
The BJP team comprises four MPs—Brij Lal from Uttar Pradesh, Samir Oraon from Jharkhand and Aditya Sahu & Jyotirmay Singh Mahato from West Bengal visited Sambalpur city and held discussion with several stakeholders including some victims. The team will submit its report to National BJP President J P Nadda.
Addressing media persons here, Brij Lal alleged that law and order has completely collapsed in the state and the Sambalpur violence is a blatant example of this. The untoward incident took place due to the state government’s failure, he alleged.
Hanuman Jayanti has been celebrated traditionally in Sambalpur town for a long long years. The violence occurred in a sensitive area and such disturbances were reported in earlier years also, he said.
Besides, the special branch or intelligence wing of the Odisha government had informed the Sambalpur administration about the possibility of such communal tension in the city. Still, the administration has failed to act properly and provide adequate security measures during the Hanuman Jayanti processions, alleged the veteran BJP leader.
Claiming it was a ‘pre-planned’ violence, he said, “I hold the BJD Government fully responsible for the violence.”
“The local people are in fear as illegal activities are rampant here. Dalit and tribals are not getting their rights and justice in the state. Not a single slaughterhouse has been given a license. Beef and narcotics are being illegally transported to West Bengal from Sambalpur,” alleged Brij Lal.
Besides, Guddu Muslim like notorious criminals are visiting the state to get shelter, he added.
The ‘anti-national slogans’ raised during the violence, which is disturbing not only for Sambalpur but also for whole Odisha and India, the BJP leader said.
Making mockery of the state administration, the Rajya Sabha MP urged the Odisha government to send his officers to Uttar Pradesh to learn how to maintain law and order in a state.
If the government will play vote bank politics, no one can stop such communal violence incidents in the state, he said.
“The rioters have been given free hands to commit the violence. While the preparators are roaming scot-free, innocent people are being trapped and falsely prosecuted to please their political bosses,” Brij Lal alleged.
On his visit to the deceased Mirdha’s residence, he said “The dead youth’s family was not present in the house. It is suspected that the family has been kept outside the village forcibly by the ruling BJD. Neither SP or no one has any information about his mother and sister.”
As per norms, the government should have released compensation of Rs 8.50 lakh to the family member of the victim. At least 50 per cent of the ex-gratia amount should be sanctioned in the first instalment. But it was not done, he stated.
Asked, the Sambalpur Superintendent of Police B Gangadhar said the police arrested at least six persons in connection with Shri Mirdha’s murder.
The man’s death had nothing to do with the violence in the city on April 12 and 14, he asserted. Many people were injured, and a number of shops gutted during the clash. The city was placed under curfew for several days and internet services suspended in view of the violence.
The MP further said that cases registered by police in the incident shows that the investigation is not conducted in a free and fair manner. So, the case should be handed over to the CBI, he demanded.
“I appeal to the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to personally recommend for CBI investigation into the incident,” Brij Lal said.
Reacting to the visit of the BJP team, BJD leader Snehangini Chhuria slammed the BJP for playing politics over the unfortunate and sensitive incident.
“With the effort of all, peace returned to Sambalpur city. However, the BJP has become intolerant and unhappy. They want that violence activities to continue in the town so that they can play cheap politics over the issue,” said Shrimati Chhuria.
By sending the fact-finding team, what message does the BJP want to spread? Whether they don’t have trust in the court, investigative agency, Human Rights Commission and ST Commission?, asked the BJD leader.
Alleging the BJP want to create disturbance again in Sambalpur, she said Odisha BJP will remain responsible, if any communal disturbance resurface in the town.