A serious failure of intelligence by police forced Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to make a back door entry to the state secretariat after protestors obstructed his convoy on Tuesday forenoon.
The agitators, from the Navanirman Krushak Sangathan, hurled themselves before the pilot vehicle of Naveen’s carcade barely a few hundred metres from the Secretariat, bringing the convoy to a grinding halt. Completely taken by surprise, the policemen tried to remove the Navanirman Krushak Sangathan protestors who engaged them in a tussle.
As the whole drama was unfolding, Naveen’s car had to take a turn from AG Square towards Raj Bhavan and enter the state Secretariat from the back gate.
At least 26 members of the Navanirman Krushak Sangathan were taken into custody by the police after the incident. Criminal charges have been pressed against Navanirman Krushak Sangathan workers for wrongful restraint by obstructing the passage of the Chief Minister, assaulting policemen and preventing them from discharging their duty.
The Navanirman Krushak Sangathan activists also have been charged with unlawful assembly since prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC have been clamped along the entire stretch.
Security of the Chief Minister has been augmented following the incident while Police Commissioner R P Sharma, who reviewed the situation, is believed to have given a dressing down to the cops. What was baffling was that the city police had no clue whatsoever about the move by the Navanirman Krushak Sangathan which had, earlier during the winter session of the Assembly, sneaked into the visitors’ gallery and raised slogans.
The cops, according to sources, were expecting them to protest near Naveen Nivas and waiting for them there.
Police officials admitted that it was a clear failure of intelligence and said that appropriate action would be taken against whosoever is found at fault.