BJP general secretary for Odisha, Lekhasree Samantasinghar at a press conference on Thursday accused the office of state Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik of shielding the culprits involved in the death of a woman panchayat official in Jajpur district.
The BJP leader said two-and-a-half months have passed since the death of Haridaspur panchayat extension officer (PEO) Smitarani Biswal but the police have not taken the lone arrested person, Rupesh Bhadra, on remand and now has framed a 2,000-page charge sheet.
Alleging that the charge sheet has been framed at the instruction of “the third floor” (a reference to the CMO), Samantasinghar said, “There is a cover-up bid. The state government had removed the then DGP B K Sharma for not going by the words of the CMO in the PEO death case.”
She also alleged that Bhadra was being given VIP treatment in jail due to his close proximity to a senior BJD leader. The BJP will continue its protest on this matter till the state government orders a CBI probe, she added.
The ruling BJD was quick to deny the allegation and said Samantasinghar has been making such statements “out of frustration”.
“She was lobbying for a BJD ticket to contest 2019 assembly elections. As she was denied entry into BJD, Lekhasree has been making such allegations,” BJD spokesperson and MP Sasmit Patra told reporters.
Patra said Samantasinghar continued to give such statements despite repeated requests to BJP leaders to refrain from politicizing cases related to women. “It is sheer frustration and an attempt to settle old scores with some BJD leaders,” the BJD spokesman claimed.
The body of the woman PEO of Haridaspur was found at a private guest house owned by a local BJD leader. The police registered a case of suicide while BJP leaders have alleged that she was killed after being gang-raped.