Sambalpur: Senior BJP leader Jayanarayan Mishra and his associate Siba Kumar Diwan were arrested by the police on Thursday in connection with a firing incident at Banabira under Sohela police station limits in Odisha’s Bargarh district in the night on February 22.
The duo was arrested soon after taken to Sohela Police station. Later, they were forwarded to a local court which rejected their bail plea and remanded them to the judicial custody for 14 days.
Sources said a team of Padmapur Police led by SDPO Laxmi Narayan Panda and accompanied by some police officers of Bargarh police station picked Mishra and his associate from his house at Nandapada in Sambalpur town and took them to Sohela police station.
Protesting the action of the police, some activists of BJP Mahila Morcha detained the police van. However, they relented later after the SDPO told them that the BJP leader and his associates will not be arrested as they are being taken for interrogation to Sohela police station.
However, after reaching Sohela Police station, police informed about their arrest.
“We have arrested Mishra and his associate in connection with the Banabira firing incident. As per the FIR filed against Mishra, police will investigate into his involvement in the incident,” Panda said.
The SDPO said that as per the complaint lodged with the Sohela Police, Mishra and some of his associates were inside an ashram at Banabira in the night when the incident took place.
“Police would interrogate the people of Banabira village about the presence of Mishra at the ashram on that day,” he added.
With the arrest of Mishra and his associates, the total number arrest in this case has gone up to eight.
Following Mishra’s arrest, minister Susant Singh said the BJP leader was instigating his party workers to attack the BJD workers and leaders. “Mishra had planned the attack on my brother and his associates at Banabira and soon after the incident, he had remained absconded. Besides, one of the persons who was seriously injured in the attack has said in the FIR that he was attacked by the associates of Mishra,” Singh added.
Talking about the arrest of the BJP leader, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said the law will take its own course and punish the guilty.
Condemning the arrest of Mishra, State BJP president Basant Panda claimed that Mishra is not involved in the Banabira firing incident. “Mishra has been arrested by the police at the instance of the ruling BJD. It would have been better had the police called Mishra to the police station to cooperate in this case,” he pointed out.
Panda also informed that the BJP has started a statewide satyagraha from Thursday in protest against the arrest of Mishra. “The party activists have started picketing before the office of the District Collector, SP, DSP and all sadar police stations. The Satyagraha will continue till Mishra is not released,” Panda said.