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Men With 'BJP Flags' Vandalise Residence of Naveen Patnaik's Secretary

The miscreants stormed into the compound of the official quarter of Pandian and damaged flower pots. They also hurled cow dung at the main gate accusing the official of working for the ruling BJD and interfering in political affairs.

PTI

Updated:February 11, 2018, 7:26 AM IST
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Men With 'BJP Flags' Vandalise Residence of Naveen Patnaik's Secretary
File photo of Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik (PTI)
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Bhubaneswar: A group of people with BJP flags raised slogans, barged into the official residence of Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik's private secretary V K Pandian and vandalised it, the police said.

Following the incident, at least four people were arrested, Commissioner of Police Y B Khurania said.

The miscreants stormed into the compound of the official quarter of Pandian and damaged flower pots. They also hurled cow dung at the main gate accusing the official of working for the ruling BJD and interfering in political affairs, the police said.

Patnaik said, "It is truly a shocking incident as the members of a national party are involved."

The BJP and suspended BJD MP Baijayant Panda had earlier accused Pandian, a 2000 batch IAS officer, of indulging in politics despite being in the civil service.

The Opposition Congress, CPI(M), CPI, Samajwadi Party and the Foward Block strongly condemned the incident and accused the BJP of creating an atmosphere of terror in the state.

"The BJP's terror politics will not succeed in Odisha.

They created such a situation in Gujarat, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh and now trying it in Odisha. We condemn such attack on a civil servant," Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra of the Congress said.

Meanwhile, IAS, IPS, OAS associations, Odisha Karmachari Sangharsh Samiti and other employees bodies strongly condemned the incident and demanded action against the culprits.

"Action should be taken against the culprits as per the law," Odisha IAS association secretary Vishan Dev told reporters.

However, the BJP's state vice-president Samir Mohanty said, "Why is the BJD so worried when Pandian's house is attacked? Many officers across the state are facing vandalism and the ruling party is silent over the matter."

He said it was not proper on the part of a government official to be active in political matters and work for the ruling party.

Hours after the attack on Pandian's house, a BJP delegation lodged a complaint with the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Odisha against four senior officers, including Pandian, accusing them of violating the model code of conduct which is in force in the state for the February 24 Bijepur Assembly bypoll.

The BJP urged the CEO to direct the four officers to go on leave till completion of the Bijepur bypoll as they were allegedly misusing their official posts in furthering the interests of the ruling BJD.

BJD spokesperson and MP Pratap Deb said the attack was "unfortunate and it exposed the real mindset of BJP leaders".

Asserting that such violent acts and intolerance were unacceptable in a democracy, he said those involved in the incident would be arrested and action would be taken as per the law.

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| Edited by: Puja Menon
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