A Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator from Odisha, Subash Chandra Panigrahi was arrested for allegedly thrashing a block development officer (BDO) of Deogarh district, the police said yesterday.
Acting on a complaint filed by the Tileibani BDO, Krushnachandra Dalapati, the Deogarh police arrested the MLA from his official residence in Bhubaneswar on Sunday.
Panigrahi’s two associates Akalu Dhal and Kumarmani Sahoo were also held by the police.
BDO Dalapati had accused Panigrahi of beating him up on Saturday and filed an FIR with the police. The BJP MLA has also lodged an FIR alleging that the BDO has misbehaved with him when he had gone to meet him for some public work, the police said.
As Panigrahi did not feel well while he was being moved to Deoghar by the police, he has been admitted in Chatabara community health centre, the police stated.
Meanwhile, protesting the arrest, BJP MLAs Kusum Tete, Mohan Majhi and Bhabani Bhoi along with party workers staged a dharna in front of the Deogarh police station.
Though Panigrahi has first filed the FIR alleging he was misbehaved by the BDO, police, instead of taking action against the BDO, have arrested the MLA, alleged Majhi.
The BJP legislators demanded the arrest of Tileibani BDO Dalapati.
BJP leader and Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan too criticised the government over the arrest of his party MLA.
On the other hand, BJD spokesperson Lenin Mohanty said assaulting and intimidating government officials is becoming a habit of the BJP public representatives of Odisha and protecting them instead of condemning their violence is becoming a habit of the Odisha BJP.
“When action as per law is being taken against the BJP MLA Panigrahi, the Odisha BJP, instead of condemning his violent behaviour, is very unfortunately protecting him and his misdeeds,” Mohanty said.
The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) always stands for the rule of law and for the law to take its course, he added.