BHUBANESWAR: The State government was forced to announce a crime branch inquiry into alleged police atrocities on tribal women in Malkangiri district as the Opposition Congress and BJP members paralysed the functioning of the house over the issue.
MoS Home Tushar Kanti Behera announced in the house following a ruling from Speaker Bikram Keshari Arukha. He said that IG Crime Branch will investigate the matter. The house had to be adjourned several times during the day because of the ruckus created by the Congress and BJP MLAs.
Raising the issue, Congress whip in the assembly Tara Prasad Bahinipati alleged that the sub-divisional police officer (SDPO) of Chitrakonda and his team assaulted people including a pregnant woman, a minor girl and an 80-year-old woman during a night-time raid on RSC-13 village on June 7 in connection with illegal ganja cultivation. He alleged that SDPO had slapped a tribal woman during the police raid on the village.
The alleged incident was also condemned by Scheduled Tribe and Scheduled Caste Development Minister Jagannath Saraka. "It is unfortunate if the allegations are true. No one will be spared if found guilty," he said.
Earlier, members from both the Congress and BJP rushed to the well of the house shouting and demanding a ruling from the Speaker on the incident. Alleging atrocities on the villagers by the Chitrakonda SDPO and his team, Bahinipati produced visual evidence of the matter before the Speaker.
Bahinipati demanded suspension of the SDPO and a house committee to probe into the incident. He said that the house committee should visit the village to interact with the villagers who were assaulted by the police.
While Congress Legislature Party leader Narasingha Mishra demanded a judicial probe, his party colleague SS Saluja sought a CBI inquiry into the incident as police personnel were accused in the case. Supporting the Congress demand, Opposition chief whip Mohan Majhi said that a house committee should be set up to probe into the incident.
As the din continued, Speaker adjourned the proceedings several times till 4 pm. When the house reassembled at 4 pm, similar agitation started forcing Arukha to convene an all-party meeting to resolve the issue.