Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Police on Saturday filed a case against state Congress in-charge Jagdish Tytler for the mob violence outside the Assembly on Thursday. Tytler and six others were booked for attempt to murder, rioting and damage to public property.
The police has arrested 34 people so far in connection with the protests.
The FIRs were filed after the lady constable who was attacked during the violence claimed that Tytler incited the mob to attack her.
Congress workers clashed with the police during their protest over coalgate outside the Odisha Assembly. The protesters demanded the resignation of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. The Congress said that Patnaik recommended people for the coal blocks allocations.
The police, however, lathicharged the Congress workers, used water cannons and fired tear gas to disperse them. Police officials claimed that the mob attacked and beat up a lady constable mercilessly after which the order to use force against the Congress workers was given. Over 100 Congress workers were injured in the clash.
Odisha Director General of Police (DGP) Prakash Mishra said that they used minimum force to disperse the crowd. He claimed that the crowd turned violent and indulged in vandalism outside the Assembly. He added that Congress workers were armed with sticks, rods, bricks and stones. Several of them were also drunk, said Mishra.
Patnaik, on Friday, condemned the violence, saying the state was not used to such protests.
Congress, too, had some strong words for Tytler. Party leader Digvijaya Singh said, "I strongly condemn the misbehaviour of Congress activists in Odisha with the lady constable. The party must take strong against the culprits."
Defending Tytler, Congress chief whip Prasad Harichandan said that Tytler had asked the partymen to come forward for jail bharo. "He did not instigate violence.
"I do not think calling upon partymen to court arrest is any crime or instigation," he said.
"This is an unfortunate incident. We are sorry for the assault on the lady constable. Women police should not be deployed at the forefront. We demand action against senior police officers responsible for deployment of women at sensitive places," he said after party MLAs boycotted the assembly.
Leader of Opposition Bhupinder Singh of Congress sought to give a different spin saying "All people present at the rally were not Congress activists. Some people, who are angry over the BJD government's misrule, may have assaulted the woman constable."
Tytler, on the other hand, told a news channel that it was wrong to assault a woman. "There is a bid to defame us in public. The incident has proved that Naveen Patnaik is incapable of giving good governance.