Two days after BJD workers allegedly hurled eggs at his vehicle, Union Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram on Friday requested Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to direct the state government to order a probe into the incident. A BJP delegation led by party’s state president Basant Panda also met state Governor SC Jamir here and urged him to issue strictures to the state government for the frequent egg attacks on visiting union ministers.
A shutdown was also observed in Sundargarh to protest against the incident. In a letter to Singh, Oram said eggs were hurled at his vehicle on June 14 during his visit to Kendrapara district and sought Centre’s intervention in the matter.
“I request your kind intervention in the matter, thereby issuing instructions to the state government to inquire into the matter and advise them to make adequate security arrangements for Union Ministers visiting the state so as to avoid such deplorable incidents,” Oram said.
Alleging that those who hurled eggs at his vehicle were local BJD goons, Oram said it is the responsibility of the state government to provide security to visiting Union Ministers, but the state police have failed miserably in performing their duties. “The increased number of such incidents expose lack of seriousness on part of the administration resulting in sloppy and inadequate security arrangements for visiting ministers, including those who have been targeted by Naxalite elements in the past,” Oram said.
On June 10, Youth Congress activists had allegedly hurled eggs at Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh’s vehicle and waved black flags near the state guest house. In a memorandum submitted to the Governor, the BJP alleged a gradual decline of law and order in Odisha, which culminated in dastardly attacks on central ministers by organised hooligans supported by the ruling BJD and Congress.
“Attack on a central minister who is on an official visit is not only condemnable, but also an indication of serious lapse on the part of Odisha Government,” the memorandum said. “As per protocol his (Oram’s) security is the responsibility of the state government. Instead of providing security, it aided and abetted the attack and did nothing to prevent it. No one has been arrested so far in the matter,” it said.
Normal life was disrupted in Sundargarh after the seven-hour shutdown called by BJP today protesting the incident of eggs being hurled at Oram’s vehicle in Kendrapara.
Shops and business establishments remained closed, while vehicular movement was affected during the bandh. BJP activists blocked roads at various places in the district demanding immediate arrest of those involved in the incident under the SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.