Published On: Tue, Nov 19th, 2019

Woman panchayat official death: BJP MLAs return to House, accuse Speaker of denying leader of oppn to speak

Bhubaneswar:Opposition BJP MLAs who have been on a dharna in the Assembly premises demanding a CBI probe into the mysterious death of a woman panchayat official, on Monday returned to the House after two days, but again accused Speaker S N Patro of not allowing the Leader of the Opposition to speak on the matter.

File Photo: Panchayat Extension Officer Smitarani Biswal

The BJP law-makers were staging a silent dharna near the Mahatma Gandhi statue in the Assembly premises since Saturday. They had boycotted the proceedings alleging that they are not allowed to speak on the death of the woman panchayat official in Jajpur district.

“We returned to the House in the post-lunch session today as per the request of the Speaker. But, he did not allow me to complete my speech and all off a sudden adjourned the proceedings till tomorrow. This appears indecent in Parliamentary democracy,” Leader of Opposition Pradipta Kumar Naik told PTI outside the House.

They had protested in the House by covering their mouths with black scarves before going to stage the dharna near the Gandhi statue. The party MLAs led by Naik had also walked to the Raj Bhavan earlier on Monday and submitted a memorandum drawing the attention of the Governor Ganeshi Lal in this regard.

Naik said they agreed to return to the House after Speaker Patro sent a delegation comprising Parliamentary Affairs Minister B K Arukha and government chief whip Pramila Mallick to them.

“However, I feel humiliated again when the speaker all of a sudden adjourned the House in middle of my speech,” Naik said adding that his party leaders are deliberating on the next course of action.

Asked why they agreed to return to House before fulfilment of their demands, Naik said, “We know there are several issues to be discussed in the House. The BJP does not want to waste public money by paralyzing the House. Therefore, we returned.”

In his speech, Naik reiterated his party’s demand for a CBI probe into the death of panchayat extension officer Smitarani Biswal, whose body was found in a private guest house owned by a BJD leader in Jajpur district on October 16.

“We demand the accused be booked for murder instead of abetment to suicide. This apart, we also demand the arrest of four others who were present at the guest house during Smitarani’s death. It is a clear case of rape and murder,” Naik said.

He also demanded action against the Jajpur SP who was allegedly indulged in character assassination of the deceased.

Naik said, the Speaker suddenly adjourned the House when he raised an issue relating to financial transaction between the arrested person and a private company.

The members of the BJP have been demanding a CBI investigation into the Smitarani Biswal death case since November 13, the first day of the winter session of the Assembly.


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