BALASORE: Five tourists from West Bengal were detained in Basta police station for more than five hours on Sunday for overtaking the vehicle of Union Minister of State for MSME and Balasore MP Pratap Chandra Sarangi.
Sarangi was on way to Basta to attend a review meeting when two cars carrying the tourists sped past him. The Union Minister reportedly directed the cops in his pilot car to chase down the two vehicles. The tourists’ cars were stopped near Laxmanath toll plaza. The tourists were then detained by Basta police.
Basta IIC Ashok Nayak said Santosh Shaw, his wife, brother and two children were returning to Kolkata from Panchalingeswar temple in Nilagiri in two vehicles. They were detained in the police station as the Union Minister wanted to meet them after his meeting. The tourists were later released after they submitted an undertaking that they would not commit such mistake again, Nayak added.
Contacted, Sarangi’s representative Ashish Lenka refuted the allegation that the Union Minister gave any direction to book the tourists under MV Act.
“The Minister was on his way to Basta when the tourists overtook his vehicle at a high speed. Both the Minister’s vehicle and the pilot car were forced to turn towards the nearby forest to evade collision. However, the Minister asked police to release the tourists,” Lenka added.