Nikhila Utkal Gruharakhi Mahasangh (NUGM), association of home guards, has alleged that the Commissionerate Police for Bhubaneswar and Cuttack is misusing power.

The NUGM alleged recently that the police branded home guards as ‘habitual offenders’ under 110 of CrPC, the power is now vested with Court of Executive Magistrate under Odisha Urban Police Act, and were vehemently opposing bail applications of home guards who were arrested here on March 22.

“As many as 58 home guards, including NUGM president Sanjay Behera, were arrested when they were fighting for their legitimate dues from the government in Bhubaneswar on March 22. Police branded us as seasoned criminals by slapping a number of charges. As many 49 home guards were granted bail subsequently,” said Upendra Mohapatra, NUGM’s Bhubaneswar district president.

Despite several attempts, eight of our members were being denied bail by the Court of Executive Magistrate of the Commissionerate Police.” “It is surprising as to how could the police brand home guards, who are their associates in maintaining law and order, as habitual offenders.

This is nothing, but vindictive action of the Commissionerate Police,” said Suresh Harichandan, secretary of NUGM Bhubaneswar district.

Commenting on the issue, senior High Court lawyer Bibhu Prasad Tripathy, said, “it is a gross misuse of power vested with the Commissionerate Police.”

NUGM has demanded unconditional release of the eight home guards lodged in Jharpada Special Jail.