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Law Is Above All

Bhubaneswar: Refuting the allegations made by the Opposition that the State Government is shielding criminals, Minister of State (MoS) for Home, Tusharkanti Behera on Monday said law is above all and the BJD Government always emphasised on the rule of law.

Giving reply to the Assembly in an adjournment motion moved by the Opposition BJP and Congress members, Mr.Behera said, “Our government never gives protection to any culprits. Law is above all. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has always emphasised on the rule of law. Whoever may be the criminal, or how powerful he or she may be, this state government has taken action against him or her as per law.”

In the case of Archana Nag, he said, a case had been registered at Nayapalli police station on 29.09.2022 based on a written complaint of Akshay Parija.

Similarly, another case had been registered at Khandagiri police station on 02.10.2022 based on the complaint of Shradhanjali Behera and the investigation is underway.

During the investigation, Archana Nag and her husband Jagabandhu Chand were arrested in connection with the above cases on 06.10.2022 and 21.10.2022 respectively and forwarded to court.

The ED is investigating the money laundering involved in the case, which is not coming under the purview of state police or EOW, the Minister added.  

Participating in the debate, Opposition BJP and Congress slammed the Odisha government raising lady blackmailer Archana Nag case in the State Legislative Assembly.   

BJP Chief Whip Mohan Charan Majhi alleged that many Ministers and MLAs of the ruling party and senior government officers are allegedly involved in the Archana Nag money laundering case being investigated by the Enforcement Department for over a week now.

Photos of 64 persons have been traced from Archana’ mail ID. Five dairies and four laptops containing data regarding her illegal act have been seized, he claimed.

“Despite all these, the state government has made efforts to set the culprits free,” alleged Mr.Majhi.

The BJP leader alleged that the state government has been protecting the accused persons from the beginning and police are not cooperating with the ED in the investigation.

Questioning the silence of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik over the case, Majhi demanded a statement from the CM in the House.

Though names of several ministers and BJD MLAs are doing the round in this case, neither they have filed any complaint nor came up with a clarification, said another BJP MLA Sanatan Bijuli

Similarly, Congress legislature party leader Narasingha Mishra too slammed the government over the issue and demanded resignation of the CM on moral ground.

Instead of giving a statement on this sensitive issue, the Chief Minister has given the responsibility to the junior Home Minister, Mr.Mishra said.

This ‘sex scandal’ case has created a sensation at national level, especially in Odisha. Those who have been allowed to go free by Odisha police, the ED has arrested them, the Congress MLA said.

Another Congress MLA Taraprasad Bahinipati wanted to know why Archana’s husband was not arrested even as he was questioned 14 days after Ms.Nag’s arrest. He alleged that Jagabandhu was set free in an intention to destroy evidence.