Lensmen covering ‘CBI Ganesh’ assaulted by Odisha police

Reported by Santosh Jagdev
Bhubaneswar, Aug 29:

In yet another incident of police high-handedness in the Odisha capital city, three photojournalists were manhandled by a Havildar of Nayapalli police station here while doing their professional duty.

Photo: Biwaranjan Mishra
Photo: Biwaranjan Mishra

Photojournalists Biswaranjan Mishra, Ashwini Pati and Santosh Panda were heckled, manhandled and prevented from taking photographs by havildar S K Tripathy near a Ganesh puja pandal erected close to Unit-VIII DAV Public School today. The police ransacked the pandal allegedly because the Ganesh idol at the pandal showed the elephant god as a CBI officer and his pet rat as local police officer.

Mishra said the Havildar manhandled him and two others while they were at the puja pandal put up by the DAV Chhack puja committee members. “Tripathy and two other police staff of Nayapalli police station, who were engaged in sealing the pandal, first stopped us. When we asked the police personnel the ground or the written order on the basis of which we were being stopped, the cops immediately started manhandling us by pushing usout of the pandal. They did not allow us to take photographs either,” Mishra said.

Inspector-in-charge (IIC) of Nayapalli police station K C Mund admitted the manhandling of the photojournalists by his staff and gave an assurance that the guilty personnel would be punished soon.

“Our personnel were at the puja pandal to seal it as we got complaints from a section of people that the idol portrays Ganesh as a CBI officer, mouse as constable and a prisoner as a politician holding a slate ‘420- I am a cheat’. This sends out a wrong message to the society,” the IIC said.

Havildar SK Tripathy who assaulted the photojournalists
Havildar SK Tripathy who assaulted the photojournalists

Failing to get any response from the police after hours, hundreds of journalists from print and electronic media blocked both sides of the road connecting CRP square and DAV school for an hour this evening disrupting traffic. They demanded stringent action against the havildar.

The situation was brought under control after the IIC of Nayapalli intervened in the matter. “I have communicated in writing to the Deputy Commissioner of Police Bhubaneswar to take stringent steps against Tripathy for his misconduct with the journalists.”

On the other hand, a puja pandal organiser said there was nothing wrong in our idol. “Ganesh Mahaprabhu has many avatars and CBI Ganesh is one avatar of his to punish all those responsible for Odisha’s multi-crore chit fund scam,” he said.

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