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Odisha BJP writes to Amit Shah, seeks NIA probe into Sambalpur violence

Bhubaneswar, Apr 22 (PTI) The Odisha unit of BJP on Saturday wrote a letter to Union Home Minister Amit Shah, requesting him to take steps for an inquiry by NIA into the violence in Sambalpur during Hanuman Jayanti celebrations.

In a letter signed by BJP’s state unit president Manmohan Samal and several party MPs and MLAs, they urged the Centre to direct the state government to take necessary measures to “restore law and order in Sambalpur” and ensure “communal harmony” in the western Odisha city.

“We strongly condemn the heinous act of communal violence and demand an impartial investigation by the NIA to unravel the conspiracy behind the incident, and strict action against the perpetrators,” the party said in the letter.

The BJP’s state leadership also urged the Centre to ask the state government to take immediate steps to prevent the recurrence of such incidents in Odisha in future.

BJP leaders also alleged that the law and order situation has “deteriorated” in Sambalpur following clashes “due to the orchestrated violent attack” on a motorcycle rally two days before the Hanuman Jayanti on April 14.

“The coordinated attack on the bike rally on April 12 had left several persons, including some policemen, grievously injured. The incident also led to torching of shops, vehicles and private properties in Sambalpur,” the letter said.

The western Odisha city had witnessed a clash between two communities during a motorcycle rally in the run-up to Hanuman Jayanti.

As the clash spilled over to the streets, many vehicles were damaged and some shops were set on fire.

A total of ten police personnel and around 12 Hanuman Jayanti coordination committee members, were injured in a stone pelting incident during the clash.

The saffron party also claimed that a tribal youth was killed and several others were injured in another attack by a mob in Sambalpur on April 14, the day Hanuman Jayanti was celebrated.

The administration has clamped the curfew in Sambalpur soon after the incidents and suspended internet services in the locality.

The violence and arson in Sambalpur during the Hanuman Jayanti procession and a day before has “exposed the poor intelligence network of the Odisha Police and the lack of foresight on its part to ascertain the consequences of “inadequate security arrangement during the festival”, the BJP leaders said in the letter.

“The Odisha Police has miserably failed to follow the advisory issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs for smooth organisation of Hanuman Jayanti processions,” the letter said.

“As per an FIR lodged by the police, around 200 people of a particular community armed with swords, iron rods and sticks attacked the motorcycle rally on April 12. The police have admitted that the communal riot was pre-planned. The attackers also raised certain objectionable and anti-national slogans to incite communal violence.

“Such sloganeering by the mob is not acceptable and amounts to crime that needs to deal with strict laws,” the BJP said in the letter. PTI AAM BDC BDC

This report is auto-generated from PTI news service. ThePrint holds no responsibility for its content.

Source: The Print

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