Ar­rest of Sabyasachi a drama; cen­tral agency must probe: BJP

Al­le­ga­tions are base­less: BJD

The Political and Business Daily - - ODISHA FOUCS -

WHILE op­po­si­tion BJP to­day al­leged a nexus be­tween rul­ing BJD lead­ers and rebels and de­manded probe by a cen­tral agency terming the ar­rest of top Maoist leader Sabyasachi Panda as "stage man­aged", rul­ing BJD has re­futed these al­le­ga­tions calling it base­less.

"The so-called ar­rest of Sabyasachi seems to have been a stage man­aged drama. He was al­ready with the po­lice be­fore the date on which the ar­rest was claimed to have been made," BJP's Odisha unit Pres­i­dent K V Singhdeo told re­porters here.

As re­ported in the me­dia, Panda was def­i­nitely not caught on the date as po­lice claimed. The re­cent drama was an at­tempt to di­vert peo­ple's at­ten­tion from burn­ing is­sues like scams which had put the govern­ment in a tight cor­ner in the Assem­bly, he said.

Ex­press­ing doubt about a fair probe by the state po­lice into cases in­volv­ing Sabyasachi, Singhdeo said Odisha po­lice would not be un­able to take the in­ves­ti­ga­tion to its log­i­cal end as re­ports sug­gested that sev­eral rul­ing party lead­ers main­tained links with the Maoists.

Un­der the cir­cum­stances, the state po­lice would not be com­pe­tent to con­duct proper probe and it would only try to shield po­lit­i­cal lead­ers, the BJP leader said.

"The po­lice is not in favour of Panda's in­ter­ro­ga­tion in the pres­ence of his lawyer or fam­ily mem­bers, as di­rected by the court, as it is feared that they might spill the beans about nexus be­tween Maoists and po­lit­i­cal lead­ers," he said.

"There­fore, in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the en­tire gamut of af­fairs re­lat­ing to Sabyasachi and his ac­tiv­i­ties should be handed over to a cen­tral agency," Singhdeo said.

He said probe by a cen­tral agency like Na­tional In­ves­ti­ga­tion Agency (NIA) would be proper, but NIA gen­er­ally in­quired into cross-border mat­ters and in­ci­dents spread over sev­eral states.

While there seemed to be no case against Sabyasachi out­side Odisha, ab­duc­tion of Ital­ian na­tion­als and killing of VHP leader Laxa­m­ananada Saraswati in Kand­hamal had wide ram­i­fi­ca­tions. These events had drawn in­ter­na­tional at­ten­tion and it was a fit case to be in­ves­ti­gated by a na­tional agency, the se­nior BJP leader said.

As builders and con­trac­tors also have links with Maoists as the ul­tras were funded by them and this as­pect should also be probed thor­oughly, Singhdeo claimed.

"We'll write to the Union Home Min­is­ter Ra­j­nath Singh on be­half of the state BJP urg­ing him to con­sider get­ting the mat­ter in­quired by a cen­tral agency," Singhdeo said.

On Panda's ar­rest, the state BJP chief said lead­ers of the banned CPI (Maoist) had also de­scribed the episode as noth­ing but a drama.

Singhdeo said that many such in­ci­dents, in­clud­ing ab­duc­tions of a se­nior IAS of­fi­cer and Ital­ian na­tion­als, in the past had taken place when the Assem­bly was in ses­sion.

These were part of a tac­tic to di­vert peo­ple's at­ten­tion from core is­sues, he claimed.

Re­act­ing to Singhdeo’s al­le­ga­tions, rul­ing party leader and Min­is­ter Debi Prasad Mishra said since such in­sin­u­a­tions are not based on con­crete ev­i­dence, BJP Pres­i­dent should not crit­i­cise for the sake of crit­i­cism. “In­stead of con­grat­u­lat­ing the Naveen-led BJD govern­ment and the State po­lice for suc­cess­fully cor­ner­ing the dreaded Maoist Panda and fi­nally nab­bing him, BJP is try­ing to win cheap brownee points by lev­el­ing such base­less al­le­ga­tions”, said Mishra, adding the con­certed ef­forts of the govern­ment and po­lice have yeilded re­sults and with such progress, it will not be too long when Mo­ism will be com­pletely elim­i­nated from the State.

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