Odisha PCC calls for six-hour state bandh on Friday
The Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee has given a call for six-hour Odisha Bandh on Friday to protest against the Naveen Patnaik government’s failure to act against minister of state for home Dibya Shankar Mishra over his alleged links with the prime accused in the Kalahandi teacher Mamita Meher murder case.
Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) president Niranjan Patnaik told The Telegraph, “The chief minister has not sacked the minister so far. Though there is sufficient evidence against the minister that he patronised the accused, no action has been taken against him. On Friday, we will organise a six-hour bandh from 6 am to 12 noon.”
Addressing a press conference at the Congress Bhavan here on Thursday, senior congress leader Debasis Patnaik said: “The purpose of calling a six-hour bandh is to ensure that their normal livelihood related activities are not affected. The objective of calling the bandh is to highlight the Odisha government’s failure in protecting the dignity of women. Several women have been killed in the state but police have failed to initiate action against the influential and powerful people involved in such cases. Our workers will stage road blockades and rail roko at different places.”
The Congress has also appealed to various trade unions and other parties to support the six-hour bandh. However, the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) has made it clear that the minister won’t resign and accused the Opposition of indulging in cheap politics over the issue.
Former minister and senior BJD MLA Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak said: “The prime accused in the Mamita Meher case has already been arrested. Investigation is on. No politics should be done over the issue.”
Mamita had gone missing on October 8 but police did not accept the FIR of her parents for five days. When pressure mounted police accepted the FIR and arrested the main accused Govinda Sahu. But later Sahu managed to escape from the police barrack in film style. As pressure mounted again police re-arrested the main accused on October 19 from a sugarcane field and later recovered Mamita’s mortal remains from an eight feet deep pit.