Chaining of Odisha journalist: Havildar suspended; action against erring officials soon

Balasore: Following outrage over chaining of a journalist by cops during treatment in a hospital in Balasore district, Odisha Police suspended one Havildar in connection with the incident.

Condemning the incident, Inspector General of Police (Central Range) Narasingha Bhol termed the it as ‘unfortunate’ and ‘unlawful’.

“Chaining a journalist to a hospital bed while undergoing treatment is an unfortunate and unlawful act. We have taken the matter very seriously. An official in DSP rank is probing into the case. One Havildar has been placed under suspension,” he told reporters today.

“Action will be taken against erring officials following the probe,” he assured.

Meanwhile, Balasore SP informed that action has been initiated against the officials responsible in the incident.

Lokanath Dalei, a reporter of Odia daily ‘Sambad’ and its television channel ‘Kanak News’, was allegedly chained to a bed while undergoing treatment at the Balasore District Headquarters Hospital.

The victim alleged that he was thrashed by Nilagiri Police Station IIC Draupadi Das following which he fell unconscious.

He further alleged that by the direction of the IIC, he was tied to the hospital bed like a hardcore criminal during treatment.

“I was beaten up and tied to hospital bed over a personal grudge,” he had told media yesterday.

The IIC intentionally took such action against the journalist after he reportedly exposed involvement of the Nilagiri Police in corruption.

“As many as 11 homeguards of the police station have been appointed by furnishing forged certificates as they had exceeded the upper age limit for the job. Besides, the IIC has been receiving bribe from drug peddlers of Nilagiri. I had reported the two incidents to bring the matter to fore,” said Dalei.

The journalist became the target following an argument with a homeguard namely Niranjan Rana over collision of his vehicle with the latter’s vehicle at a market area on April 4 in Nilagiri. However, the matter was pacified on the same day after intervention of locals.

On April 6, Dalei was informed that the homeguard has lodged a complaint against him with Nilagiri Police. He was also asked to appear at the Nilagiri Police Station in connection with the case.

When he reached the police station, one official namely Subarna Behera allegedly snatched his mobile phone and the IIC assaulted him mercilessly. He lost his consciousness and was taken to the Nilagiri Hospital. Later, he was shifted to the Balasore District Hospital for treatment. At insistence of the IIC, the police officials attached a handcuff around his leg and chained him to the hospital bed.

The incident drew sharp criticism from different quarters.


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