'BJD leaders have close links with arrested godman Sarathi Baba'

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 Bhubaneswar, Aug 11: Accusing ruling BJD leaders in Odisha of having close links with arrested self-styled godman Sarathi Baba, the BJP on Tuesday sought to know why no action was taken against a former Kendrapara SP for police excesses on demonstrators who demanded Baba's arrest.

"BJD government in Odisha is in the dock over the so- called Baba's activities. Handling of the episode showed the ruling party and its leaders had close links with the self- styled godman," BJP's All-India general secretary P Muralidhar Rao told reporters. [After Radhe Maa, now Sarathi Baba: Self styled godman caught with woman in hotel; arrested]

sarathi baba

Though it was the state government's responsibility to ensure quick investigation into Sarathi episode, the manner in which the controversial issue was handled clearly showed the state government was trying to hide and suppress facts.

People across the state had turned restless over the whole issue particularly because of the state government's approach towards dealing with the episode which also exposed criminalisation of administration, Rao claimed.

Accusing the state government of trying to protect former Kendrapara Satish Gajbhiye, the BJP leader said the IPS officer was only shifted from the district following a public outcry amid allegation of police excesses on demonstrators who agitated demanding arrest of Sarathi.

However, no action has been taken against the police officer despite agitation by people, including lawyers community, across the state, he said. He said the party would intensify the agitation if strong action was not taken against the ex-SP of Kendrapara.


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