Bhubaneswar: Opposition Congress and BJP on Friday demanded action against BJD MLA Debashish Samantray for allegedly manhandling the relative of slain CRPF jawan Manoj Kumar Behera during the funeral on February 16.
While Mahila Congress has filed a complaint at a police station in Cuttack, an RTI activist lodged a complaint against the BJD MLA at a police station in the state capital.
Samantaray has been in the eye of storm after a video of his misbehaviour with the kin of martyred CRPF Jawan Manoj Behera went viral.
Senior Congress leader Panchanan Kanungo demanded arrest of Samantray for showing disrespect to Pulwama martyr’s kin and sought apology from Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
He has also sought expulsion of Samantaray from the ruling party. "The MLA has already apologised and the party will take a call on whether action need to be taken against him," BJD spokesman P K Deb said.
Meanwhile, in a video message, Chaitanya Behera, the alleged victim uncle of the martyr, said: "The MLA has not manhandled me. He called me to sit down near the body before the final rites. Debashish Babu is a good man."
Samantray on his part has clarified that he has not manhandled the man as alleged. The MLA said he made the man to sit down near the body of the Pulwama martyr as he pushed Union Minister Jual Oram during the funeral.
Stating that he was not aware that the man who pushed Oram, as a relative of the martyr, Samantray said: "I had made the man (uncle of Martyr Behera) sit after he pushed Union Minister Jual Oram during the guard of honour. I had no intention of hurting anyone’s feelings. I tender apology for that."
Samantray also appealed all not to politicise the incident after tendering an apology over the incident.
Union Minister Jual Oram, however, could not be contacted.
"Yes the Union Minister Oram and state BJP president Basant Panda had attended funeral of the martyr. The MLA is dragging name of the Union Minister into the incident. I was also there, but fail to recollect any such incident as stated by the MLA," said BJP state vice-president Samir Mohanty.