At least 34 people have been arrested in connection with the violence and attack on a woman constable during a Congress rally here which also echoed in the Odisha Assembly on Friday paralysing proceedings.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said the violence was condemnable and people were shocked by the assault on the woman constable while Union Minister and Congress leader Srikant Jena dubbed Odisha as a ‘police state’ where right to protest and democratic values have been lost.
Thousands of Congress workers clashed with the police on Thursday when they tried to picket the state Assembly building demanding resignation of Mr. Patnaik over the coalgate row leaving around 260 people including 60 police personnel injured.
At least 34 people have so far been arrested for the violence and attack on the woman constable, Assistant Commissioner of Police Nihar Das said.
In the Assembly, Congress legislators stormed the well protesting police excesses paralysing proceedings.
Shouting slogans against the BJD government and the police action, the opposition members attempted to climb the speaker’s podium.
Investigation was being conducted with the help of CCTV footage to identify those who indulged in violence, Mr. Das said.
Chairperson of the State Women’s Commission Jyoti Panigrahi, who met the the woman constable in hospital, said “We have started an investigation. The manner in which she was heckled and assaulted needs to be condemned.”
“People are shocked over the incident that took place in Bhubaneswar on Thursday. Odisha is known for its peaceful atmosphere,” the chief minister said.
Two major associations of police also threatened to agitate if those involved in the attack on the woman constable and others were not arrested immediately.
Congress has given a call for an Odisha bandh on Monday against alleged police excesses at the rally while the students and women wings of the ruling BJD planned to stage a dharna on Saturday against ‘goonda raj’ by Congressmen.