PARADIP : Protesting the arrest of Congress leader Bapi Sarkhel, his supporters staged demonstrations in Paradip and Kujang of Jagatsinghpur district on Saturday.
The activists of Paradip-Erasama Industrial Development Council, industrial workers of different factories and Congress workers blocked roads and resorted to cease work in different factories protesting the arrest of the trade union leader. On Friday, Sarkhel had surrendered before the SP to extend cooperation in the investigation of SSL manager Mahendra Swain’s murder case.
While the industrial workers demanded his unconditional release, Paradip and Kujang block Congress threatened to stage bandh in Paradip Assembly constituency on November 23 protesting the illegal arrest.
The protestors blocked Atharbanki-Dochhaki road on Cuttack-Paradip State Highway but police rushed to the spot and disbursed the agitators. Similarly, members of Congress SC Cell also staged road blockade at Kujang disrupting vehicular traffic for three hours. Nearly 10 platoons of police force have been deployed in different areas to diffuse tension.
A team led by OPCC secretary Nikunaj Pasyat, Biswajit Das and Sanatan Parida met Sarkhel in Kujang sub jail. The leaders said, under pressure from Excise and Cooperation Minister Damodar Rout, police arrested Sarkhel illegally in connection with the SSL manager’s murder though he is not involved in the case.
On Friday, Paradip police arrested Sarkhel in connection with SSL manager’s murder and produced him in Kujang court where his bail plea was rejected. The court sent him to Kujang sub jail.
In another development, Kujang JMFC has remanded main accused in Swain murder case Rakesh Choubey to three days in police custody for detailed interrogation to unearth murder mystery.
Meanwhile, as the situation remained tense police shifted Sarkhel to Allipingal jail amidst tight security.