Case registered against Odisha MLA for attending Maharathy’s funeral

Puri: Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MLA Uma Samantaray landed in trouble for attending party’s strongman Pradeep Maharathy’s funeral at Swargadwar in Puri last week as a case has been registered against him for flouting COVID-19 guidelines.

The Sea Beach Police in Puri registered the case yesterday against Satyabadi legislator under sections 269/270 of IPC and 3 of Epidemic Diseases Act.

A showcause notice has been served to the MLA seeking his reply within a week in this connection.

The case was registered following a complaint lodged by the Jagannath Sena, a local outfit in Puri, at the Sea Beach Police Station against School & Mass Education Minister Samir Ranjan Dash and BJD MLA Uma Samantaray.

Read: Odisha Minister, MLA Booked For Attending Maharathy’s Funeral. Here’s Why

However, no case was registered against Dash for breaching COVID-19 rules.

As the minister had attended the funeral after 17 days of his test result as COVID-19 positive, the case has not been registered against him in connection with violation of COVID-19 guidelines, informed Puri SP Akhileswar Singh  yesterday.

Recently, Uma had tweeted that he was diagnosed with COVID-19. However, he attended the funeral of Pipili MLA Pradeep Maharathy in Puri while undergoing treatment at a COVID hospital in Bhubaneswar.

Even Samir Dash had tested positive for COVID-19 twice in a month.

Despite being tested positive for COVID-19, the two BJD leaders had attended the funeral of Maharathy at Swargadwar cremation ground in Puri on Oct 4, the Jagannath Sena Convenor Priyadarshan Pattnaik had alleged.

However, the duo refuted the allegations of COVID-19 protocols violations.

While Dash claimed that he had completed 21 days of detection of the positive as per the Government’s COVID-19 rules, Uma said that he had recovered from the disease and he had no symptoms when he attended the funeral.

“As I had completed 21 days after being tested positive for COVID-19, I attended the funeral of Pradeep Maharathy,” Dash had said in a statement following a complaint by the Jagannath Sena.

A day after the case was filed against Uma, the first-time MLA apologised for attending the funeral being a COVID-19 infectee. He admitted his mistake before media today.

“I rushed to attend the funeral of Pipili MLA Pradeep Maharathy, who was my political ideal and mentor, after hearing sad news about his sudden departure. He was not only my favourite leader or confined to Pipili Constituency, but also had identity in the State. When I found my adorable person is no more, I could not restrict myself and I was broken down completely. Without having a second thought over the present situation, I participated in the event and paid my tribute to the departed soul by offering flowers on his mortal remains at Swargadwar. As I was detected positive for the Coronavirus, it was my mistake to attend the event in Puri that violated the COVID-19 guidelines set by the State Government,” Uma said in a video message today.

He said that he is ready to face the punishment as per the Government’s COVID-19 rules as nobody is above the law.

“I am a law abiding citizen. I will accept the penalty and punishment to be awarded to me for breaching the guidelines,” he added.




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