BHUBANESWAR: The Odisha Assembly on Monday witnessed noisy scenes over misbehaviour shown to women by police who removed their black stoles and shawls before allowing them to enter the meeting venue of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at Sundargarh on Sunday.
The House could meet for only eight minutes as the Opposition members rushed to the well shouting slogans and demanding an unconditional apology from the Chief Minister for the undignified manner in which women were treated. The ruling BJD, however, maintained that the police action was part of the security protocol and no woman has lodged any complaint.
Meanwhile, the Chief Minister has directed the Director General Police KB Singh to inquire into the incident. Announcing this, Principal Secretary in the Home department Asit Tripathy said the Chief Minister expressed his displeasure and directed to ensure that such incidents do not occur in future.
The BJP has called a statewide agitation on Tuesday over the issue. “The party activists would stage agitation in all the 314 blocks and urban areas protesting against the disrespect shown to women at the Chief Minister’s meeting venue,” state party president Basant Panda said.
BJD spokesperson Dibyashankar Mishra said the Opposition is trying to make an issue out of nothing. “No one has complained and police were performing their duty for VVIP security as per protocol,” Mishra said.
Earlier, as soon as the House assembled for question hour, Congress and BJP members rushed to well and raised slogans against the Chief Minister holding him responsible for the incident. Some of the Congress members also attempted to climb the Speaker’s podium and break the mike.
Unable to run the proceedings, Speaker Niranjan Pujari first adjourned the House till 3 pm. As the din continued when the House reassembled, the Speaker announced another adjournment and called an all-party meeting by suspending business of the House for 30 minutes. The Speaker adjourned the House for the day as the issue could not be resolved.
Criticising the Chief Minister for the incident, Leader of the Opposition Narasingh Mishra said right to dignity which is a fundamental right has been violated by police.