Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan calls Odisha ‘lawless’, BJD hits back

Taking to Twitter, Pradhan said, “Lawless Odisha is a reality. High-time people in power recognise the fault-lines in the law and order situation in the state.” 

Published: 31st March 2023 08:27 AM  |   Last Updated: 31st March 2023 08:27 AM   |  A+A-

Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.

Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan. (File photo)

By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan once again targeted the state government over the law and order situation following the abduction and murder of a teenager in Jharsuguda district for ransom. Pradhan, who is on a three-day visit to the state, expressed concern over the murder of 15-year-old Samarth Agarwal, son of a businessman, within two months of the daylight killing of minister Naba Kishore Das.

Taking to Twitter, Pradhan said, “Lawless Odisha is a reality. High-time people in power recognise the fault-lines in the law and order situation in the state.”  “Murder of young Samarth exactly within two months of the broad daylight killing of Minister Naba Das exposes Odisha govt’s tall claims on rule of law,” he also said.

The minister said that no one is safe, neither the public nor the public representatives of the state. Such gruesome incidents, particularly in Jharsuguda, has shocked everyone and weakens their trust on the state government and its law and order machinery. 

“No amount of empathy will bring solace to young Samarth’s family. The Odisha government must pull up its socks to ensure rule of law and safety of citizens,” Pradhan tweeted. Earlier, Pradhan had launched an attack on the state government for its failure to protect one of its minister who was shot dead by a police officer on duty on January 29 in Brajarajnagar. He had also been rasing the Mahanga double murder case, Anand Toppo murder case and the alleged sexual harassment case against a BJD MLA.

A war of words broke out with BJD Rajya Sabha MP Sasmit Patra accusing Pradhan of tarnishing  the image of the state for petty political gain and explaining the minister the difference between lawlessness and law and order situation. In a series of tweets, the BJD MP said lawlessness is when during a GST raid at Padampur hundreds of BJP leaders and workers storm in forcibly and snath papers from the raiding party in a bid to help the businessman who had cheated in paying tax. 

It is law and order situation when 500 people block national highway between Sambalpur and Cuttack due to central neglect and delay in completion of work for many years or thousands of farmers protest against central neglect for not lifting surplus paddy.

The BJD leader said crime is committed by a group or individual which is investigated and the guilty are brought to justice. He alleged that BJP-ruled states like UP, MP, Maharashtra, Assam and Haryana have reported more rape cases and some of them have reported more murder cases as per the NCRB report of 2021 and requested Pradhan not to mislead the people of the state and do politics on sensitive matters of crime.


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