Stalemate continues in Odisha Assembly for 7th consecutive day over teacher's murder case

Opposition BJP and Congress members trooped into the well of the House, demanding removal and arrest of Minister of State for Home DS Mishra for his alleged link with the prime accused in the case.Legislators of the saffron camp, donning black scarves, beat gongs, and waved posters, in which the main accused in the case could be seen on the campus of Naveen Niwas, the residence of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, with the BJD supremo standing at a distance.This picture shows how powerful was the prime accused and his influence in the ruling party.


PTI | Bhubaneswar | Updated: 08-12-2021 22:21 IST | Created: 08-12-2021 22:21 IST
Stalemate continues in Odisha Assembly for 7th consecutive day over teacher's murder case
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The proceedings of the Odisha Assembly were washed out for the seventh consecutive day on Wednesday as the House witnessed a series of adjournments after legislators of both the ruling and opposition parties waved placards and shouted slogans over the Kalahandi woman teacher’s kidnap-murder case.

The House plunged into chaos as soon as it assembled for the Question Hour. Opposition BJP and Congress members trooped into the well of the House, demanding removal and arrest of Minister of State for Home DS Mishra for his alleged link with the prime accused in the case.

Legislators of the saffron camp, donning black scarves, beat gongs, and waved posters, in which the main accused in the case could be seen on the campus of Naveen Niwas, the residence of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, with the BJD supremo standing at a distance.

''This picture shows how powerful was the prime accused and his influence in the ruling party. He had free access to the high-security Naveen Niwas,'' alleged BJP member and opposition chief whip Mohan Majhi.

Members of the treasury bench, on their part, held placards that had a picture of the prime accused's lawyer with BJP leaders. The BJD members, too, raised slogans accusing the saffron party of having connections with the murder accused.

The Assembly was adjourned six times by Speaker S N Patro due to pandemonium in the well of the House. Later, Patro convened an all-party meeting to resolve the deadlock. The opposition members put forth three proposals before the government for cooperating in the smooth functioning of the House. The proposals were the chief minister should remain present in the House and take part in the business, expel Minister D S Mishra and not allow him (Minister of State for Home) during the discussion on the budget of the Home department.

“I am hopeful that the matter will be resolved,” Speaker Patro told reporters.

Strongly criticising the treasury bench members over their protest in the House, Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Narasingha Mishra said, ''It appears that the BJD has realised that it is going to lose the next elections. Its members have started practising for the role of opposition.'' The ruling BJD accused the BJP of maintaining a double standard in the murder case. ''On one hand, they (BJP leaders) are demanding justice for the teacher, and on the other, a lawyer belonging to the saffron party is fighting the case in favour of the accused,'' said BJD MLA P K Deb.

The opposition chief whip rejected the allegation and said, ''The lawyer is not a primary member of the BJP. He is a professional. We have information that the MoS, Home, and Law Minister Pratap Jena engaged him to fight the case for the prime accused.'' Meanwhile, the lawyer in question, Mohan Lal Sharma, in a video message that was aired by local TV channels, also confirmed that he was just a supporter of the BJP, not its primary member.

''The BJP is a nationalist party and nationalism runs in my family's blood. My father was a Jan Sangh worker. As a professional, I do not take into consideration the caste, creed, or religion of a person when I fight cases,” Sharma said in the video.

The body of a private school teacher in Odisha's Kalahandi district was exhumed on October 19 from the playground of the institute where she taught, days after she was reported missing.

Two persons, including the main accused -- the president of the school's managing committee -- have been arrested in this connection.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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