Odisha's Leader of Opposition Jaynarayan Mishra has stirred controversy by allegedly assaulting a woman police officer, after accusing her of taking bribes, during a BJP protest in Sambalpur.
The BJP MLA from Sambalpur, however, dismissed the charge and claimed that the Dhanupali Police Station Inspector in-charge, Anita Pradhan, had pushed him.
Both lodged police complaints in connection with the incident, which occurred on Wednesday during BJP's protest outside the district collector's office in Sambalpur, as part of the state-wide stir on the "worsening law and order situation".
According to Pradhan, as BJP workers were trying to barge into the premises, she came face-to-face with Mishra, who asked who she was.
"When I identified myself, he accused me of taking bribes and called me a dacoit. When I asked why he was levelling such allegations, he pushed me in the face," the woman officer said.
Mishra denies allegations
Mishra, however, dismissed the charge, saying that he went to the forefront upon hearing that the police were "torturing" women workers.
"But the IIC told me I was ranting a lot against the police and pushed me. But I didn't push her. Since, allegations were levelled against the police, they hatched a conspiracy... I don't even know her," the leader of opposition stated.
Sambalpur Superintendent of Police B Gangadhar said that he has sought a field report of the incident and the matter will be inquired.
The Odisha Police Service Association, Sambalpur chapter, has moved the DIG, Northern Range, seeking action against Mishra.
BJP spokesperson Lalitendu Bidyadhar Mohapatra, however, said, "A policeman allegedly killed a minister in Jharsuguda district. Now, a woman police officer is heckling the Leader of Opposition. There is no rule of law in Odisha. We are waiting for the CM's action against the officer." He said that the ruling party is afraid of Mishra as he would raise the law and order issue in the assembly session, beginning on February 21.
BJD spokesperson Shreemayee Mishra, on the other hand, said, "Jaynarayan Mishra is a habitual offender, with 14 cases including murder registered against him, because of which has also been to jail. He is known for threatening and assaulting people."
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