Sambalpur violence: Ask govt to follow ‘Raj Dharma’, Odisha BJP urges Governor

Bhubaneswar:  A delegation of Odisha BJP led by its president Manmohan Samal has urged Governor Ganeshi Lal to instruct the state government to follow ‘Raj Dharma’ in letter and spirit following the recent communal violence in Sambalpur.

The BJP delegation met the Governor and submitted to him a memorandum over the communal violence erupted during Hanuman Jayanti procession in Sambalpur during last week.

Sambalpur has been the epicenter for celebration of religious functions of all religions and the town is very rich in culture. Hanuman Jayanti celebration in Sambalpur is one of the largest religious functions, having a congregation of lakhs of devotees including women and children, the BJP said in its memorandum.

In Odisha, Hanuman Jayanti is celebrated on ‘Bishuba Sankranti’, which is also Odia new year (April 14).

A motorcycle rally was organised on April 12 across the route of Hanuman Jayanti procession. While the procession was passing through Motijharan area, suddenly there was wide-spread pelting of stones and petrol bombs followed by physical attacks on participants by some anti-social elements belonging to a particular minority community resulting in serious injury to dozen of processionists including some police officials, the BJP alleged.

The visuals recorded by different persons show “disturbing scenarios including shouting of anti-national slogans by the anti-socials and anti-national elements”, it said.

The BJP also noted that the Union Home Ministry had issued an advisory on April 5 directing all states and Union Territories including Odisha to be cautious and to take adequate measure to maintain the law and order and prevent communal disturbances during Hanuman Jayanti celebrations.

“In spite of the advisory of Union Home Ministry, no adequate measures were taken by Odisha government and Sambalpur district administration to prevent untoward incidents and communal retaliation particularly in the communally sensitive area of Sambalpur, resulting in attack on the processionists on April 12,” the saffron party alleged.

“Even the FIR lodged by the IIC, Barehipani Police Station shows attack on procession, pelting of stones, hurling of petrol bomb and shouting anti-national slogans…,” reads the memorandum.

“Even after the April 12 incident, the police administration of Sambalpur did not learn a lesson as a result of which on April 14, a tribal youth who came to the town from Chaunpur was killed by a group of particular community, resulting in communal disturbances… followed by imposition of curfew and suspension of internet,” BJP leaders told the Governor.

The BJP claimed that body of tribal youth was hurriedly taken for postmortem and immediately, the funeral was conducted in the late night without allowing all his relatives and villagers to attend the funeral. The party further claimed that the last rites of the youth was conducted “against the custom and traditions of their tribal community to which he belonged”.

“The perpetrators of the violence have not yet been arrested. On the other hand innocent persons are being picked up and put behind the bar,” the saffron party alleged.

The delegation urged the Governor to issue an advisory to the state government to follow ‘Raj Dharma’ and arrest the “actual perpetrators” of the crime.

(IANS)

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