Odisha MLA Jaynarayan Mishra from Sambalpur has sparked controversy by allegedly assaulting a woman officer during a BJP protest in Sambalpur.
The allegations on Mishra surfaced after he accused the Dhanupali Police Station Inspector in-charge, Anita Pradhan of taking bribes. Refuting the assault charges on him, Mishra has claimed that Pradhan had pushed him. In a viral video on social media, BJP leader Jaynarayan Mishra can be seen engaged in a heated argument with a female cop and pushing her.
Both Mishra and Pradhan have lodged police complaints in the incident that took place on Wednesday when BJP members were protesting outside the district collector's office in Sambalpur, as part of the state-wide stir on the "worsening law and order situation". As per media reports, Pradhan was quoted saying that she confronted Mishra when BJP workers were attempting to barge into the DC office premises where Mishra asked her who she was.
"When I identified myself, he accused me of taking bribes and called me a dacoit. When I asked why he was levelling such allegations, he pushed me in the face," the officer said.
Dismissing the charges, Mishra stated that he went to the forefront upon hearing that the police were "torturing" the party women workers. "But the IIC told me I was ranting a lot against the police and pushed me. But I didn't push her. Since, allegations were levelled against the police, they hatched a conspiracy... I don't even know her," the leader of opposition stated.
Sambalpur Superintendent of Police B Gangadhar said that he has sought a field report of the incident and the matter will be investigated. The Sambalpur unit of Odisha Police Service Association approached the DIG, Northern Range, demanding appropriate action against Mishra.
Shreemayee Mishra, state BJD spokesperson has called the accused BJP leader a habitual offender. "Jaynarayan Mishra is a habitual offender, with 14 cases including murder registered against him, because of which has also been to jail. He is known for threatening and assaulting people," Shreemayee said.
BJP spokesperson Lalitendu Bidyadhar Mohapatra, however, has spoken in defense of the opposition leader. "A policeman allegedly killed a minister in Jharsuguda district. Now, a woman police officer is heckling the Leader of the Opposition. There is no rule of law in Odisha. We are waiting for the CM's action against the officer." He said that the ruling party in the state is afraid of Jaynarayan as he would raise the law and order issue in the upcoming assembly session which will begin on February 21.