Naveen pays homage to Biju babu;Congress activists rounded up

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Puri, Apr 17 (UNI) Police today rounded up hundreds of Congress activists before arrival of Chief Minister Naveen Pattnaik here to pay homage to his late father Biju Pattanik on his death anniversary.

The Congress had announced earlier to stage a protest demonstration against the Chief Minister for shielding former Speaker Maheswar Mohanty in lady marshal Gayatri Panda sexual harassment case.

The Congress activists, demanding arrest of Mr Mohanty, gathered at Athurnulla, the entry point to the city to stage black flag demonstration.

But police swung into action, rounded them up and detained several activists, including DCC president Krushna Chandra Panda and other functionaries.

Hundreds of BJD activists, led by local BJD MLA Maheswar Mohanty, received the entourage of Mr Naveen Pattnaik from Chadanpur and escorted him to the Swargdwar ,where Biju babu's mortal remains were kept in a small enclosure.

BJD MP Prasanna Kumar Patshahani, Agriculture Minister Surendranth Nayak, Satyabadi MLA Ramarajan Baliarsingh, Puri Municipality Chairman Gourahari Pradhan accompanied the Chief Minister to pay tribute to Biju Pattnaik.

Mr Patnaik participated in the all religion prayer and paid tributes to his father amid tight security arrangements.

On his way to Puri, he garlanded the statue of Biju babu at the Pipili park where local BJD Legislator Pradip Maharathy conducted the proceedings.

UNI XC-DP SJC RN1924

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