BHUBANESWAR: Breaking his silence on the murder of Kalahandi lady teacher Mamita Meher, Minister of State for Home Dibya Shankar Mishra on Friday hit out at the Opposition political parties for launching a smear campaign against him without any evidence, thereby giving a clear indication that he is not going to resign.
Stating that the malicious smear campaign against him by the Opposition political parties and a section of the media marks a new low in the political discourse of Odisha, the Minister said in a statement that he has nothing to do with this offence. “I had left the high paying job of a pilot and joined politics to serve the people of Junagarh and Kalahandi. I swear in the name of Maa Manikeswari on whom I as well as people of Kalahandi have deep faith in, that I have nothing to do with the offence,” he said.
The Minister said as an MLA as well as an ex-Air Force officer, he has attended functions at many educational institutions and therefore, a crime happening in any one of the institutions which he visited as a guest cannot be attributed to him. Denouncing the Opposition questioning his silence, Mishra said that he always believed that in a sensitive heinous offence, the law enforcement agencies should act in a free and fair manner to ensure justice.
The Minister said he felt the need to give a statement as the smear campaign against him has been affecting his family. He advised the Opposition and media to take it to the police or the courts if they have an iota of evidence against him in the matter. “I will not only resign from my position but also retire from public life. Do not indulge in smear campaigns with personal political agenda,” he stated.
However, describing the Minister’s statement as misleading, the BJP said it is an attempt in vain by him to save himself. State BJP general secretary Lekhashree Samantray demanded that the Minister should clarify about the video which Mamita allegedly had in her mobile phone. “The Minister should also clarify what was he trying to mediate between the accused Gobinda Sahu and Mamita at Raipur”, she said, adding that Mishra should also explain whether he had a hand in the escape of the prime accused from the police barracks.