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Odisha: 22 injured as Chilika MLA rams car into crowd, leader assaulted later

BJP state general secretary Prithviraj Harishchandan demanded immediate arrest of the MLA. The BJD, too, condemned the incident and asked for strongest action against the accused as per law.

By: Express News Service | Bhubaneswar |
Updated: March 13, 2022 8:14:30 am
BJD MLA from Chilika Prashant Jagdev's car. (Express photo)

Chilika BJD MLA Prashant Jagdev was reportedly assaulted after he allegedly rammed his car into a crowd in Odisha’s Khurda district Saturday afternoon. At least 22 persons, including seven police personnel, were injured in the incident, police officials said.

According to the police, a huge crowd, including BJP supporters, had gathered outside the Banapur Block Development Office (BDO) for the block chairperson election when the incident occurred. Jagdev, who was driving an SUV, was initially stopped by the crowd as he tried to drive through the heavily crowded road.

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“Some people tried to stop his car and an argument ensued. Police personnel present at the spot tried to intervene. But he (Jagdev) drove the car through the crowd, leaving many injured,” central range IG Narasingha Bhol told mediapersons.

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Local residents then allegedly pulled him out of the car and assaulted him with sticks. They also vandalised the vehicle, the police said.

Jagdev sustained serious injuries and was rescued by the police personnel present on the spot. He is now under treatment in Bhubaneswar.

“He has been booked under attempt to murder charges. He will be arrested after recovery,” Bhol added.

Prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC were also imposed in Banapur town area to prevent any further untoward incident.

Jagdev has been booked under IPC sections 307 (attempt to murder), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 324 (voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means), 325 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt), 326 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons or means), 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty), 333 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt to deter public servant from his duty) and 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty).

According to police officials, eight persons, including two policemen, have sustained grievous injuries and are now under treatment. Banapur police station inspector-in-charge Rashmi Ranjan Sahoo was also injured when he attempted to stop the speeding vehicle of Jagdev.

Meanwhile, BJP state general secretary Prithviraj Harishchandan has demanded immediate arrest of the MLA. “This can never be done by a person with a sound mind. The police should thoroughly investigate the case and we hope the Odisha Government takes stern action against the legislator,” Harishchandan said.

Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Niranjan Patnaik tweeted: “BJD MLA from Chilika Prashant Jagdev’s Lakhimpur Kheri moment! This is how BJD treats the common man of Odisha. I am at a loss of words to condemn such a deplorable, inhuman act.”

The BJD, too, has condemned the incident and asked for strongest action against the accused as per law. In a statement released by the party, spokesperson Dr Sasmit Patra said: “BJD strongly condemns this barbaric act by Chilika MLA Prashant Jagdev at Banpur today. Violence has no place in democracy and such a violent act is shocking and unfortunate.”

The two-time MLA from Chilika has been termed as a “perpetual offender” by the Opposition. In September last year, he was suspended from the BJD for allegedly assaulting a local BJP leader. In August 2020, he had allegedly misbehaved with a junior engineer working with the Chilika Development Authority. In 2016, he had allegedly attacked a woman tehsildar by throwing a kerosene lantern at her. In July, he had thrashed BJP activists for showing black flags to a BJD leader in Boudh.

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