BHUBANESWAR: As Sambalpur town observed a bandh on Wednesday called by the District Bar Association seeking suspension of Collector Mrinalini Darswal, IAS Officers’ Association of Odisha demanded action against the law-breakers.
The lawyers on April 23 had ransacked Darswal’s official residence and allegedly manhandled her over a dispute relating to hike in the land registration fee. The lawyers had also allegedly attacked the office of the deputy sub-registrar while protesting the increase in the registration fee.
A delegation of the IAS Officers’ Association on Thursday met Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and demanded action against those who took law into their hands.
“Collectors represent the state in districts and must be protected at all costs,” association secretary Madhu Sudan Padhi told mediapersons.
“An emergent meeting of the association held here on Tuesday also appreciated the exceptional courage shown by Mrinalini Darswal in protecting her subordinate officers while discharging duty,” Padhi told this paper. The association also appealed for the release of Laxmipur MLA Jhina Hikaka abducted by the Maoists.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik told mediapersons on the Sambalpur issue that the law would take its own course. The State Government had on Tuesday ordered a crime branch inquiry into Monday’s incident in Sambalpur.
The Biju Yuva Janata Dal (BYJD) has also criticised such behaviour against a lady collector. Such type of behaviour against an officer on duty from people who know law is not acceptable, BYJD general secretary Bijay Nayak said in a statement.