Odisha ASP ‘assaults’ 3 journos on police station premises; fraternity stages sit-in

Papadahandi: An Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP) allegedly beat three local journalists today with a long plastic pipe on Papadahandi PS premises in Odisha’s Nabarangpur. They had gone there to collect news regarding a woman earlier picked up by the cops from Maidalpur locality in the district.

The senior policeman accused of misbehaving scribes was identified as ASP Jayakrushna Behera.

The three journos are Sumit Ghanta, Praveen Shatnami and Omprakash Karamchand Das. The aggrieved newsmen claimed that the senior police official even did not spare them despite the latter revealing their identities.

A woman named Lijarani Patnaik, who was present there, was also manhandled by the ASP.

Later, a number of journalists from the fraternity along with family of the victim woman Lijarani staged a sit-in on the spot against the police excess and unfriendly attitude shown to public.

On being informed about the police excess, Odisha Union of Journalists (OUJ) district unit president Sushant Behera joined the protest, which was still underway till the filing of this report.

The incident has triggered tension inside the police station premises and journalists from different parts of the district have been joining the agitators demanding immediate action against the cop.

According to sources, a married woman from Baragada locality had illicit relationship with a local youth from Papadahandi for past several years. The love couple had eloped around 40 days ago and gone incommunicado. Families of both the youth and woman earlier lodged separate FIRs at their respective police stations. However, the love couple appeared before Nabarangpur SP on August 13 and expressed their willingness for marriage. Since then, the woman was residing in the youth’s house.

Earlier in the day when the woman was alone at home, some relatives of her forcibly took her away with them to the latter’s house in Maidalpur. Subsequently, acting on complaint of the youth’s family about the developments, Papadahandi police rescued the woman and brought her to the station.

Following this, family of the youth insisted on taking the woman back to their house.

Gradually, the situation went out of control. All of a sudden, after reaching there, ASP Behera tried to take away the woman to elsewhere in a police van despite her resistance, when she was keen to go with the youth.

Notably, the entire incident of police excess was captured on camera and mobile phones by some locals.

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