A probe has been initiated after a Puri-based outfit on Monday lodged a complaint with police against Odisha School and Mass Education Minister Samir Ranjan Dash and BJD MLA Umakant Samantray for allegedly participating in the funeral procession of former minister Pradeep Maharathy despite testing positive for Covid-19. Maharathy, BJD MLA from Pipli, died Sunday.
Priyadashan Patnaik, convener of Jaganath Sena, who submitted the complaint, said, “Their presence at the funeral can be a source of Covid spread. It is very irresponsible on their part to have participated in the funeral procession which saw the attendance of many more people.”
A similar complaint was submitted by the BJP’s Puri unit.
Members of Jaganath Sena staged a dharna outside the SP’s office, demanding stern action against the MLAs.
“We have received a written complaint. We have demanded a report from the sub collector who attended the funeral. Based on the report, we can file an FIR,” said Puri SP Akhileshvar Singh.
Dash denied violating norms. “I tested positive on September 14 and completed my isolation period. I did not violate any guidelines.” he said.
Samantray tested positive on September 28. He was unavailable for comment.
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