Tribal Outfits in Odisha Protest Police Failure to Arrest BJD MLA who Forced Engineer to Do Sit-ups
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Tribal Outfits in Odisha Protest Police Failure to Arrest BJD MLA who Forced Engineer to Do Sit-ups

By News18 calender  13-Jun-2019

Tribal Outfits in Odisha Protest Police Failure to Arrest BJD MLA who Forced Engineer to Do Sit-ups

Hundreds of tribals marched to the office of the Balangir district magistrate and briefly clashed with police on Wednesday demanding the arrest of the local MLA of the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) who had forced a government engineer to do sit-ups in public last week.
Beating drums and armed with traditional weapons, the tribals braved the scorching summer heat as they surrounded the office of district magistrate Arindam Dakua. The protesters were upset as Patnagarh MLA Saroj Meher is yet to be arrested though a criminal case was registered against him at the local police station a week ago.
Meher, a first-time MLA who also happens to be the third richest legislator in the eastern state, had forced engineer Jayakant Sabar to do sit-ups in full public view on June 5 after blaming him for the low quality of an under-construction road. Video clips of the act, which took place at Gambhari village in Belpada block, had gone viral on the social media, drawing widespread condemnation.
At Meher's direction, PWD executive engineer Raghunath Mishra had also slapped Sabar, who belongs to a tribal community.
The hapless junior engineer in Odisha’s public works department was also later allegedly abducted by the MLA’s supporters, who kept him under house arrest for over 24 hours.
Gathering under the banner of Western Odisha Tribal Welfare Association (WOTWA), the protesters tried to break open the main gate of Dakua's office. As police forces resisted, a clash ensued and three policemen received minor injuries while preventing protesters from entering the DM's office.

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