Bhubaneswar: Lambasting the BJD-led State Government over the murder of former Minister Naba Das and a minor girl, Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Thursday said “lawless Odisha is a reality”.
The senior BJP leader’s comment sparked a strong reaction from the BJD which asked him not to insult the peace-loving people of the state.
The Union Minister in a Twitter post said: “Lawless Odisha is a reality. High-time, people in power recognised the fault-lines in the law and order situation in the state.
Murder of young Samarth exactly within two months of the broad daylight killing of Minister Naba Das exposes Odisha govt’s tall claims on rule of law”.
Pradhan was referring to the alleged kidnap and murder of Samarth Agrawal, a Class 10 student of Jharsuguda district, for a ransom of Rs 50 lakh. The half-burnt body of the victim was recovered from Bargarh district on Tuesday.
The Union Minister’s tweet came at a time when both the opposition BJP and the Congress have been lambasting the state government in the Assembly for not being able to unearth the motive behind the murder of Naba Kishore Das on January 29.
Pradhan also alleged that neither citizens nor public representatives are safe in Odisha.
“Gruesome incidents like these on a regular basis, particularly in Jharsuguda have shocked everyone and weakened the trust of people of Odisha,” the Union Minister said.
Pointing out that no amount of empathy will bring solace to young Samarth’s family, Pradhan said that the Odisha government must pull up its socks to ensure rule of law and the safety of citizens.
The opposition parties have also been criticising the state government over the kidnap and murder of the Class 10 student in Jharsuguda.
Congress leaders claimed that the kidnap and murder for ransom have exposed the true law and order scenario in the state.
Reacting to Pradhan’s remarks, senior BJD leader and MP Sasmit Patra in a series of tweets said that BJP-ruled states like Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra have more murder cases than Odisha in 2021.
Addressing Pradhan as ‘Bhai’ (brother), Patra said, “Don’t insult Odisha for your petty political narrative. It’s surprising to see that despite you having been an Hon’ble Union Minister for so long, you are still unaware about the difference between lawlessness (law and order) and crime”.
In another tweet, Patra said: “Please don’t try to mislead and do politics on sensitive matters of crime. Do you know as per NCRB Report (2021), BJP-ruled states like UP, MP, Maharashtra, Assam & Haryana have more Rape cases than Odisha?”
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