Infighting in Odisha's BJD hits development
By Indian Express 19-Jul-2019
As the rivalry between Tirtol MLA Bishnu Das and local MP Rajshree Mallick spills onto the streets with supporters of both the BJD leaders literally coming to blows at every chance, functioning of the block office has taken a hit.
Employees are keeping away from the block office due to regular fights between the two BJD factions, thereby putting the general public in a lot of hardship.
On last Monday, chairperson of Raghunathpur block Swapansarita Bal, a supporter of Das, was assaulted by contractors belonging to Mallick’s camp.
Bal reportedly did not release the bills of these contractors after serious irregularities came to fore in construction of a ‘Pindi’ at a cost of Rs 90,000 at Antodaya High School in Puranabasant panchayat.
Infuriated by the chairperson’s action, the contractors locked Bal in the block office and kept her hostage for five hours. They even allegedly threatened her at gun-point. Bal was later rescued by police.
The chairperson filed an FIR against Saroj Kumar Sahoo, Manoj Kumar Mohanty, and Pramod Kumar Swain, all supporters of Das.
Similarly, Sahoo also lodged a complaint against Bal and her supporters with police.
On Wednesday, police detained Sahoo, Mohanty, and Swain acting on Bal’s complaint. However, the three were later released.
Locals alleged that after this incident, development works have been affected in different areas of the block. Staffers and officials, including the Block Development Officer (BDO), are keeping away from work due to the tension.
“They are not coming to the block office regularly because of frequent fights between the BJD factions,” they said.
Hundreds of people coming to the block office for applying for an old-age pension and online registration of physically-handicapped persons with Unique Disability Identity Card are forced to return because of the absence of officials and clerks, sources said.
Raghunathpur BDO Panchanan Pattaya admitted that the block office has turned into a battlefield between the two warring groups of BJD.
“Development works are being affected due to tension. However, steps are being taken to restore normalcy in the block soon,” he added.Man arrested for trying to bribe Sohela IIC
Vigilance sleuths of Sambalpur Division on Thursday arrested a man for trying to bribe IIC of Sohela police station Nirmal Mohapatra.
The accused is Ramakrushna Seth.
Vigilance officials said Ramakrushna tried to bribe Nirmal to release his cousin Chudamani Seth of Banabira village, who was arrested for illegal possession of 300 bottles of codeine-laced cough syrup.
Chudamani was arrested by Sohela police on Thursday while he was carrying 300 bottles of codeine-laced cough syrup.
Later, Ramakrushna reached Sohela police station and requested the IIC not to initiate any legal action against his cousin.
The accused even offered a bribe of Rs 1 lakh to Nirmal to release Chudamani.
After Nirmal reported the matter to Vigilance officials, a trap was laid and Ramakrushna was caught red-handed while giving Rs 40,000 to the IIC.
A case has been registered and the bribe amount of Rs 40,000 seized.
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