SAMBALPUR: Defying the ban on wielding weapons during Hanuman Jayanti rally in the city, former BJP MLA of Sambalpur Jayanarayan Mishra displayed a sword on Wednesday.
The former MLA managed to wield a sword near Zilla School Chowk here despite tight security arrangements made by the police a few days prior to the festival.
The security arrangements were aimed at preventing showdown with Hanuman Jayanti Samanwaya Samiti (HJSS) after the district administration had banned display of arms during the procession.
A huge posse of police present at the spot preferred to wait and watch as there were women in the procession and any action would have led to a law and order problem.
Chaos and commotion prevailed for quite sometime but police finally managed to snatch the sword from Mishra. Fearing police action people present at the spot ran helter skelter.
However, the situation was brought under control. Although the members of HJSS tried to flare up passion time and again, it was contained by the alert police.
Till last reports came in, the main procession was moving ahead peacefully with no report of any untoward incident being received However, people participating in processions in other areas of the city did not display arms and even women participated at Budharaja and Ainthapali.
Sources said, a possible faceoff between administration and the HJSS cannot be ruled out till the main procession reaches Peer Baba Chowk in the city from where it will disperse late in the night.
With the prohibitory order in place uneasy calm gripped the city since morning with police picketing all strategic locations. In the morning, police took four HJCC members, Anil Behera, Tuku Mohanty, Rama Meher and Sameer Babu, into preventive detention.
Moreover, notices under Section 107 and 110 of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) had also been served to 70 persons for peaceful celebration of Hanuman Jayanti. Yet, police did not want to take any chance and augmented security by deploying 45 platoons of police to maintain strict vigil.
On Tuesday, police arrested four members, including president of HJCC, Prabhat Panda, former Sambalpur Municipality Chairman, Girish Patel, members Shiv Kumar Agrawal and Kanha Sharma apprehending breach of peace during the procession. Sambalpur SP Akhileshvar Singh said since the permission for procession was granted under the condition that there would be no display of arms, action would be taken against those who defied conditions.
A case will be registered against Mishra for defying the conditions and displaying sword, he said.