The Odisha Congress on Monday demanded a CBI probe into the violence at the railway siding linked to Jagannath Colliery of Mahanadi Coalfields Limited in Angul district, even as party MLAs disrupted proceedings in the Assembly seeking immediate release of Talcher MLA Brajakishore Pradhan arrested in this connection. Meanwhile, Pradhan was granted bail by additional district judge of Talcher.
Alleging that a top police official has been patronising the ‘mafia raj’ at the coal mines in the district, the Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee demanded that his name should be revealed by the state government and strong action taken against him. The Congress members rushed to the well of the House during the Question Hour criticising the government’s undemocratic and vindictive stand on the issue. Thirteen minutes into the Question Hour, Speaker Pradip Amat had to adjourn the House till 11.30 am as the Congress members showed placards accusing Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik of promoting the contractor-police nexus and shouted slogans. The members also demanded that a House committee should be constituted to probe into the incident and submit a report as early as possible. The Speaker said the police had informed him about it. Under Rule 154 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Odisha Legislative Assembly, the Inspector-in-charge of Colliery Police Station under Angul district had informed about the arrest and detention of Pradhan, he said.
As the stalemate continued, the Speaker convened a meeting of the Business Advisory Committee of the Assembly to find a way out. However, the meeting had to be adjourned as it failed to find a solution.