Around 21 police personnel were injured during the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) Yuva Morcha protest in Bhubaneswar on Tuesday, officials said on Wednesday.
Hundreds of Yuva Morcha activists were protesting against the government at Mahatma Gandhi Marg in front of the Odisha State Assembly on Tuesday night when a scuffle broke out between the protesters and police personnel after they were stopped, said officials.
Commissioner of Police, Saumendra Kumar Priyadarshi said that two police personnel have been seriously injured and have been referred to Cuttack.
“2 police personnel are seriously injured and have been referred to Cuttack. They damaged several police vehicles and tried to set several vehicles on fire. This is a very serious offence. We arrested 22 BJYM workers and sent them to judicial custody,” said Saumendra Kumar Priyadarshi.
He said that the protestors hurled eggs, stones, and water bottles. Due to this 21 police personnel were injured and hospitalized.
“Yesterday BJP Yuva Morcha workers tried to enter the Assembly. When police tried to stop them, they immediately attacked the police. They hurled eggs, stones, and water bottles. Due to this 21 police personnel were injured and hospitalized,” said Saumendra Kumar Priyadarshi.
“We will take stern action and the way they attacked us indicates it was pre-planned,” he added.
Following this, BJP Yuva Morcha activists reached Capital Police Station premises and staged a protest demanding the removal of false charges against BJP activists and their release.
The protesters also demanded the arrest of unknown people, who they claimed, turned a peaceful protest into violence.
Triggered by the recent killing of the state’s Health Minister Naba Das, the youth wing of the Bharatiya Janata Party was protesting against the deteriorating law and order situation in Odisha, during which they also raised slogans against the CM Naveen Patnaik-led BJD government.
A section of agitators also tried to break through the police barricade intending for a gherao of the state assembly but was met with a lathi charge by the police which turned the situation violent.
Later in the evening, the police detained many Karyakartas.
Enraged by this, the BJYM is alleging that the police manhandled its Karyakartas, with BJYM national president and BJP MP Tejasvi Surya accusing the state police of filing draconian cases and illegally arresting the protestors.
In a video shared by the BJYM, Odisha Police is seen manhandling and lathi-charging the activists of the BJYM.
Taking to Twitter, Surya said that BJYM will protest against the Odisha Police at the Capital Police Station in Bhubaneswar ‘through the night’.”
“Police brutality against BJYM Karyakartas is hitting a new low in Odisha. Having manhandled our activists this morning during the protest, police are now filing draconian cases & illegally arresting them. BJYM will protest through the night at Capital Police Station, Bhubaneswar,” Surya tweeted.
The Bengaluru South MP further asked Odisha Police to drop the charges against the BJYM Karyakartas.
“BJYM demands Odisha police to drop all false charges against our activists and release them from illegal detention immediately,” Surya said.
“Request all BJYM Karyakartas in Bhubaneswar to reach Capital Police Station, Bhubaneswar for the night-long protest, starting now,” he added.
While speaking to ANI on Tuesday, he said that they will even consider approaching the High Court tomorrow through a Public Interest Litigation (PIL). (ANI)