SAMBALPUR: Four leaders of Hanuman Jayanti Samanwaya Samiti (HJSS) including its president were arrested by police on Tuesday, a day before Hanuman Jayanti celebration on Wednesday. The arrest followed the decision of the Samiti to display arms and weapons during the procession on the day despite the ban imposed on it by the district administration.
Besides HJSS president Prabhat Panda, members Shiv Kumar Agrawal and Kanha Sharma and former Sambalpur Municipality chairperson Girish Patel were picked up by police from their houses on Tuesday.
Sambalpur SP Akhileshvar Singh said the Executive Magistrate had issued warrant against the four under Section 113 of CrPC after they failed to present themselves before the court to comply with notices served on them. They will be produced before the Executive Magistrate, he added.
However, Singh said as display of arms and weapons during the Hanuman Jayanti procession is prohibited, it has to be strictly followed by the organisers. The permission for the procession has been granted on the condition that there would be no display of arms and the police will strictly implement it. Actions will be taken against anybody found violating the condition, said Singh.
In order to prevent any untoward incident during the process, security has been beefed up in the city. Additional forces have been deployed at strategic points turning the city into a virtual fortress.
Condemning the arrest of its members, HJSS advisor Pradeep Bohidar said they had appeared before the Executive Magistrate on Monday and sought time to reply to the show cause notice.But, warrants were issued against them, he said and termed the arrest as illegal.
Meanwhile, members of social organisation ‘Progressive Sambalpur’ took out ‘Sadbhabna Rally’ on Tuesday evening appealing to people to maintain peace. Hundreds of youths joined the bike rally.