BHUBANESWAR: In an unprecedented incident, a group of BJP activists allegedly vandalised the official residence of IAS officer and chief minister's private secretary V Karthikeyan Pandian on Saturday.
Even as police arrested four persons in connection, the state BJP has defended the alleged act by some workers of its youth wing.
This is possibly for the first time that workers of a political party attacked the residence of a government official exposing the strategy of the BJP to target persons closely working with the chief minister.
With party flags, about 30 activists of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) arrived at the official residence of Pandian at Unit-VI and shouted slogans against him, alleging that he was working for the ruling BJD.
They attacked the security guards and barged into his official residence, damaged flower pots and several two-wheelers. They also threw cow dung on the wall and the main gate of his residence. The security guards attempted to prevent protestors from creating further damage inside, but they were outnumbered as police had not reached the spot.
“The protestors manhandled me and ransacked the flower pots inside the premises,” a security personnel posted at Pandian’s official residence told media persons.
While Pandian was absent in his residence, his IAS officer wife and their two children were inside the house when the BYJM activists resorted to the vandalism. On being alerted, police reached the spot and brought the situation under control.
“We have detained four protestors and further investigation into the matter is on,” inspector-in-charge of the capital police station ACP Manas Garnaik said.
The incident has, however, exposed the intelligence failure of the police as it did not have a clue of the protest.
“Police have arrested some BYJM activists and efforts are on to arrest others involved in the incident,” said Bhubaneswar-Cuttack police commissioner Y B Khurania, who rushed to the spot along with Bhubaneswar DCP Satyabrata Bhoi and Bhubaneswar Mayor Ananta Jena.
Criticising the protestors for vandalising the official quarters of a government servant, Khurania said police have taken the matter seriously and strong action would be initiated against others involved in the incident.
BJD spokesperson Pratap Deb said the vandalism by BJP’s youth wing speaks volumes about the sick mentality of the saffron party’s top brass. “Targeting an officer in this manner should be strongly dealt with. Police should arrest the hooligans at the earliest possible,” Deb asserted.
However, state BJP vice-president Sameer Mohanty defended the party activists and accused the IAS officer of acting as "super CM" and that he has ruined the state.
Meanwhile, IAS and OAS officers' associations have condemned the attack on a senior officer's house and demanded stringent action against those involved.