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Opposition Intensify Protest

Bhubaneswar: A day after the arrest of Gobinda Sahu, prime accused in schoolteacher Mamita Meher murder case, shutdown, demonstration and Padayatra by opposition parties marked widespread protests in Kalahandi and Balangir districts as well as in the state capital.

Senior Congress Leaders led by Kantabanji Lawmaker, Santosh Singh Saluja called on Governor Prof.Ganeshi Lal and presented a Memornadum demanding dismissal of Minister Dibya Shankar Mishra.

While Opposition BJP observed a 12-hour bandh in Kalahandi wednesday, members of Congress’ youth wing staged demonstration in front of the residence of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik here alleging involvement of Minister of State (MoS) Home Dibya Shankar Mishra in the incident.

They demanded that the concerned Minister resign from his position or the CM dismiss him forthwith.

Shouting anti-Government slogans and showing black flags, the Congress members said crimes against women are on rise in the state as the Government has failed to provide protection to them.

Later, the protesters attempted to barge inside Naveen Niwas. However, security personnel deployed outside the CM’s residence stopped the activists, who were later detained by Airfield police.

“We tried to meet the CM to seek justice for the 24-year-old girl but were picked up by police personnel midway. On the other hand, the Government is protecting the Minister, who is directly involved in the case,” said Odisha Youth Congress President Smruti Ranjan Lenka.

Besides, members of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) staged a protest in front of Utkal University here. Holding placards and raising slogans, they demanded justice for Mamita Meher.

In Bhawanipatna of Kalahandi district, Youth Congress took out a Padayatra as a mark of protest over the murder case.

Congress Legislative Party (CLP) Leader Narasingha Mishra visited the girl’s family in Balangir district and said perpetrators of the crime should not be spared.

Besides, over a hundred members of Opposition BJP led by MP Sangeeta Kumari Singh Deo gathered at the Balangir SP’s office today. Police forces were deployed to control the situation. The party has demanded a probe into the incident by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Two separate delegations of BJP and Congress led by Sameer Mohanty and Santosh Singh Saluja, respectively, met Governor Ganeshi Lal and submitted a memorandum seeking his intervention for ensuring an impartial probe into the incident. The delegation also sought dismissal of Minister Dibya Shankar Mishra for his alleged involvement.

Meanwhile, security has been beefed up outside the Government residential quarters of Ministers Dibya Shankar Mishra and Pratap Jena to avert any unpleasant situation.

The ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) on Wednesday said that the State Government has taken the case of Mamita Meher’s death very seriously and those involved in the murder will get punished.

Party Chief Whip Pramila Mallick said at a press conference that the opposition party need not to spread canards in the name of the educational institution where Mamita was employed.

“This slander will impact the future of the children studying there,” she said.

“There are several instances where BJP ministers have been spotted in pictures with antisocial persons. Therefore, in this case, it is important to note that in social and political spheres we attend meetings and there are photo ops,” Mallick said.

She said the political person should not be held responsible if the other person in the frame commits a crime.

“Mamita’s family will certainly get justice. Do not politicise the heinous crime. A senior police official who has worked with the NIA is heading the case, and justice will be done,” the senior BJD leader added.