BJP, Cong claim Patnaik unaware of teacher murder case

BJP, Cong intensify stir, claim CM Patnaik unaware of murder case of teacher

The lady teacher hailing from Bolangir district went missing on October 8 and her half-burnt and partly decomposed body was exhumed from under the playground of a private school

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. Credit: PTI File Photo

As Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik remained unmoved despite a weeklong statewide furore over the kidnap and murder of lady teacher in Kalahandi, the opposition BJP and Congress on Wednesday claimed Patnaik had probably not bothered to keep himself abreast of the sensational incident.

The claim was made by BJP state president Samir Mohanty a day after he met family members of the deceased lady Teacher in Bolangir.

“We know Naveen Patnaik’s working style ... From the CM’s silence over this issue, it seems he is not aware of the incident,” said Mohanty while addressing a press meet here.

The BJP state president also said that there are serious allegations against certain ministers and the Chief Minister’s silence indicated that he was either unaware of the facts or not properly informed. “He is either unaware or not being informed by officials,” Mohanty said.

His contention was that experience gained during the coalition with BJD in the state government from 2000 to 2009, suggests that Patnaik takes action at slightest irregularities.

“Patnaik had during the BJD-BJP coalition government asked Pradipta Kumar Naik to resign from the ministry after his name cropped up in a fake affidavit case. Now, the same chief minister is silent even as ministers are entangled in serious charges,” the BJP president pointed out.

The Congress also upped its ante on the ruling BJD and raised questions on Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s silence over the issue even with demands from some quarters for the removal of Minister of State for Home, DS Mishra, given his alleged proximity to the accused.

“The Chief Minister of State is silent ... he is not dismissing his minister nor giving a word of assurance to women,” said Congress spokesperson Padmakar Guru.

A fact-finding team led by All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary Randeep Surjewala and Odisha in-charge A Chellakumar is scheduled meet the family of the deceased lady teacher on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the BJP’s youth and women wings staged demonstration before the offices of the Superintendents of Police in nine districts — Puri, Balasore, Gajapati, Jagatsinghapur, Kandhamal, Kendrapara, Nayagarh and Jharsuguda, demanding removal of the minister. However, the ruling BJD rejected all allegations and claimed that the State government has never compromised on any issue and the law will take its own course.

“The police have been investigating into the matter thoroughly. This is a strategy of the opposition to defame the govt. The Opposition can't digest the popularity of the CM. Hence they harp on such agendas that lack any fact,” said BJD MLA Latika Pradhan

The lady teacher hailing from Bolangir district went missing on October 8 and her half-burnt and partly decomposed body was exhumed from under the playground of a private school at Mahaling in Kalahandi district where she taught, 11 days after she went missing.

The prime accused arrested in the case was the president of the managing committee of the school where the lady teacher was employed. So far, two persons have been arrested in the case and sent to jail while four police personnel were placed under suspension on charge of dereliction on duty.