Odisha Assembly stalled over deaths in custody
Bhubaneswar: The alleged custodial deaths in Puri and Sundargarh districts had its echo in the Assembly on Friday with Opposition BJP and Congress members staging a noisy protest and forcing Speaker Surjya Narayan Patro to adjourn the proceedings several times.
Ruckus by the Opposition parties broke out after the House reassembled after lunch as the Opposition MLAs vociferously demanded a statement by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who holds the Home portfolio, on the two alleged custodial deaths. The issue was raised in the House by Leader of Opposition Pradipta Kumar Naik of BJP. The Opposition MLAs rushed to the well of the House and some of them were seen attempting to climb the Speaker’s podium.
Unable to conduct the proceedings smoothly, the Speaker adjourned the proceeding first at 3.10 pm for 15 minutes and four more times later for different durations as the Opposition members continued to create ruckus in the well of the House.
The agitating members demanded stringent actions against the erring police personnel responsible for the death of two youths, reports of which surfaced on Thursday. While K Ramesh of Puri was allegedly hacked to death by the personnel of Baseli Sahi police station in Puri, another youth, Tarique Salim, had died at Biramitrapur police station in Sundargarh district under mysterious circumstances.
The Opposition MLAs also demanded information on the State Government’s action in the two cases.
The Speaker’s efforts to resolve the issue through an all-party meeting did not yield any result and the Opposition MLAs continued agitating in the well of the House.
In the midst of it, Patro allowed Finance Minister Niranjan Pujari to present the supplementary budget. After it, the House was adjourned till 10.30 am on Saturday.
Outside the House, Congress Legislature Party leader Narasingha Mishra demanded removal of the SPs of Puri and Sundargarh and strong action against the erring police personnel.
Congress members Santosh Singh Saluja and Taraprasad Bahinipati said the party will continue to raise the issue in the House till action is taken against the erring police personnel.
Meanwhile, BJP MLAs Jayant Sarangi, Lalitendu Bidyadhar Mohapatra, Sukanta Nayak and Mukesh Mahaling moved Odisha Human Rights Commission on the two deaths.
BJP national spokesman Sambit Patra has moved the National Human Rights Commission in Delhi.