The Congress demanded a CBI probe into the violence at the railway siding of Jagannath Colliery of Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL) in Angul district even as its party MLAs disrupted proceedings in the Assembly on Monday demanding immediate release of Talcher MLA Brajakishore Pradhan, arrested in this connection.
Meanwhile, Pradhan was granted bail by additional district judge, Talcher.
Alleging that a top police official of the State has been patronising mafia raj at the coal mines in the district, the Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) 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 undemocratic and vindictive act of the State Government and demanding immediate release of Pradhan. The question hour could continue for only 13 minutes.
Speaker Pradip Amat had to adjourn the House till 11.30 am from 10.43 am as the Congress members showed placards and shouted slogans. In one of the placards, it was alleged that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is shielding the contractor-police official nexus which is ruling the roost in the colliery. Besides, the members also demanded that a House committee should be constituted to probe into the incident and submit a report as early as possible. Giving details of the situation under which Pradhan was arrested, the Speaker said police had informed him about the arrest.
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 him about the arrest and detention of Pradhan, he said. Pradhan was arrested on November 30 and forwarded to the court of the SDJM, Talcher, on the same day. The MLA has been remanded to judicial custody and is in the sub-jail at Talcher, Amat said.
As the stalemate continued, the Speaker convened a meeting of the Business Advisory Committee (BAC) of the Assembly to find a way out. However, the meeting had to be adjourned as it failed to thrash out a solution.
When the House reassembled at 3 pm, Leader of the Opposition Bhupinder Singh raised the issue and alleged that the police arrested the MLA without informing the Speaker. The House had to be adjourned till Tuesday after the unsuccessful BAC meeting.
A seven-member delegation of Congress MLAs rushed to Talcher to study the prevailing situation there.