Block Development Officer was allegedly beaten up after row over building inauguration

Bhujabal Majhi, Congress MLA from Dabugaon in Nabarangpur district of south Orissa was arrested on Sunday on the charge assaulting and injuring a Block Development Officer (BDO).

According to Nabarangpur Superintendent of Police (SP) Prafulla Chandra Barik, the personnel of Kosagumuda police station arrested the MLA. But the MLA had to be shifted to the Nabarangpur district hospital as he claimed that he had developed chest pain. Mr. Majhi is now undergoing treatment in the hospital.

Protesting against his arrest, Congress activists demonstrated at Dabugaon and Papadahandi. In contrast, the supporters of Biju Janata Dal (BJD) observed a bandh at Kosagumuda demanding arrest of all culprits behind the attack. The officials of Kosagumuda block also threatened to observe ‘pen down' strike if all the culprits behind the attack were not arrested immediately.

As per the FIR lodged against the MLA at the Kosagumuda police station, Mr. Majhi and ten of his associates allegedly beat up local BDO Dhananjay Hembram at Kara village on Saturday. They were also alleged to have ransacked a newly-constructed building for self-help groups (SHG) at the village.

The incident occurred after the inauguration ceremony of the SHG building at the Kara village. It was inaugurated by State Minister Ramesh Majhi. But the continuing rivalry between the activists of the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and the Congress sparked off a violent conflict. The local Congress MLA and his supporters had protested that the MLA's name did not figure in the inauguration plague.

Police intervention

It was alleged that the Dabugaon MLA and his supporters reached the spot and manhandled the BDO who was present there. Mr. Hembram was beaten up and locked up in a room of the newly-inaugurated building. It was alleged that the Congress MLA and his supporters also destroyed the inauguration plaque placed at the spot. Police had to intervene to rescue the BDO.

He was admitted to hospital. Nabarangpur SP Barik said search was on to arrest others who were involved in the attack.