Opposition asks CM to give up Home portfolio
BHUBANESWAR: While demanding a CBI probe into the killing of two persons in police firing on March 31 in Ganjam district, the Congress on Monday asked Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to surrender the Home portfolio in view of “rising crime” in the State.
Participating in the debate on the admissibility of an adjournment motion notice on the incident, Congress Chief Whip Prasad Harichandan alleged that crime is on the rise particularly in Chief Minister’s home district of Ganjam. He wanted Naveen to hand over the Home portfolio to someone else as he had failed in his ministerial responsibilities.
Alleging that the law and order in the State has collapsed, Harichandan said in a State where MLAs are not safe, the plight of common man can be well imagined. While one sitting MLA was shot dead by the Maoists, another has been kidnapped, he said and added that the police failed to protect even a minister who was struck on his head while addressing a public meeting.
Quoting from the white paper recently released by the Home Department, Harichandan pointed out that at least three women are raped, four persons killed and five looting incidents take place in the State every day.
About 14 cases of atrocities against SCs and STs and 22 such cases against women are reported daily, he claimed.
Referring to the March 31 police-villagers clash at Phasipada in Ganjam where two persons were killed and 53 injured, the Congress leader wanted to know as to why the police did not use rubber bullets and water cannon to disperse the mob .
Reiterating the demand for a CBI probe into the incident, Naba Kishore Das (Cong) demanded resignation of the Chief Minister over the issue. Alleging that police are not under the control of the Government as is evident from several incidents, Das said the Chief Minister should clarify as to what led to the firing.
Das said police went to the village to rescue three persons detained by villagers suspecting them of practising witchcraft, but they turned killers.
Making a statement, Naveen said the police opened fire in self defence as the mob attacked them with bombs and stones. He said 36 policemen and 19 villagers were injured in the incident and two persons died.
Naveen said he had ordered a judicial probe and suspended a police inspector. Unhappy with his reply, Opposition members staged a walkout.