Earlier on Monday, the opposition BJP took out a rally, mandating immediate detention and vindication of Odisha law minister Pratap Jena — one of the condemned in the twin murders of BJP leader Kulamani Baral and his associate Dibyasingha Baral.
The duo was severed to death in the Salepur area of Cuttack district on Saturday, January 2, while they were retreating home on a two-wheeler. They both received drastic injuries on their face and chest.
While Baral died on the spot, Dibya Singh perished to his injuries while enduring treatment at the SCB Medical College and Hospital the following morning. The police have reserved the state Law Minister Pratap Jena and 12 others after the deceased’s son Ramkant Baral lodged an FIR.
In his objection, Ramkant asserted that the event is a ‘fallout’ of the disclosure of fraud in the Prime Minister Awas Yojana (PMAY) in the state. Baral was putting forward his points against fraud in the PMAY in Nrutanga gram panchayat for quite some period.
“The attack was carried out at the behest of Law Minister Pratap Jena. The accused persons had also murdered another BJP worker Bikash Chandra Jena in the village in 2018. The police did not take any action against them then, and now they killed my father. The Minister is shielding the accused,” Ramakant’s complaint stated.
The law minister Pratap Jena, however, contended that the saffron party was politicizing the prosecution and hauling his name into the matter for no reason.
Senior BJP leader Kulamani Barala of Mahanga was brutally hacked to death just because he spoke against the corruption of Minister #PratapJena in Odisha Govt.
The minister’s name finds a mention in the FIR as well.
Is Odisha going the Bengal way?? pic.twitter.com/BgQmXeTPsb
— Sambit Patra (@sambitswaraj) January 4, 2021
BJP named it a political bloodbath. Party’s national spokesperson and Lok Sabha MP from Bhubaneswar, Aparajita Sarangi, asserted that the event indicates Biju Janata Dal’s (BJD) ‘goondaism’ in Odisha.
The brutal murder of BJP karyakarta- Sri Kulmani Baral,in Mahanga block of Cuttack district last night is highly shocking.This is a political murder; BJD goons silenced him since he was unearthing corruption under PM Awaas Yojana. Is Odisha going the West Bengal way? @BJP4Odisha pic.twitter.com/1MyHJaF83i
— Aparajita Sarangi, Member of Parliament (@AprajitaSarangi) January 3, 2021
“Our party has called for immediate arrests. The BJD elements have killed our people. This person’s influence was increasing by the day,” said Aparajita. Sarangi contended the opposition party of commencing punitive politics like the Trinamool Congress (TMC) in West Bengal.
BJP state spokesperson, Golak Mohapatra told that the opposition was eradicating the rivals in a ‘cold-blooded’ way, which occurred in West Bengal.
“Anyone who raises their voice against Mamata is being killed in Bengal. BJD leaders in Odisha are doing the same to their political rivals. Baral was raising his voice against corruption in PMAY. After the allegations that the well-to-do BJD leaders in the panchayat were appropriating the PMAY houses meant for poor people, the local administration had lodged cases against the ineligible beneficiaries. Those BJD leaders harbored a grudge against him for a long time. Now that the law minister has been accused, he should be sacked immediately”, quoted Mohapatra.
All of the accused have been reserved under Sections 302 (murder), 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting, armed with a deadly weapon), 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of the offense committed in prosecution of common object), 120-B (punishment of criminal conspiracy), 506 (criminal intimidation), 25 and 27 of the Arms Act.