Seeking protection from speaker BK Arukha, Congress legislative party leader Narasingha Mishra on Monday alleged that Odisha MLAs were being threatened for speaking up on minister Naba Kishore Das’s murder.
Raising the issue in the assembly during Zero Hour, Mr Mishra claimed the privilege of members was being breached as they were subjected to “threats” for taking up the minister’s murder.
“We are under pressure, receiving direct and indirect threats for talking on the ex-minister’s assassination both inside and outside the House. This is a clear case of breach of privilege of members. The MLAs have the right to know the developments in the investigation being carried out by the Crime Branch of the Odisha Police,” he said, without specifying the details of the “threats”.
Mishra also urged the speaker to act over his privilege notice against Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and MoS for Home TK Behera for allegedly “misleading the House” on the murder case.
“I have served the notice and it is the under consideration of the speaker. I urge the chair to send the notice to the Privilege Committee,” Mishra said.
“The government has treated the Uttar Pradesh’s Kheri incident as a precedent. The Supreme Court had appointed a former judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court to investigate the Kheri incident,” Mishra said, adding that the Orissa High Court has not issued judicial order for the appointment of a retired judge to monitor the investigation into the minister’s murder case.
It was an administrative order but Behera gave an impression to the House that the appointment of the retired judge was a judicial step, he alleged.
“This is an attempt to mislead the House,” he claimed.
Mishra also targeted the police for not meeting the press or informing the people on the progress of the investigation.
There is an effort to prove the prime accused Gopal Das, a policeperson, is mentally ill, he alleged.
BJP MLA Mukesh Mahaling said there was a need for a CBI investigation into the case.
“While the Crime Branch was entrusted with 180 cases in the last nine years, it has filed charge sheet in only 62 cases. This indicates the efficiency of the Crime Branch,” he said.
BJD MLA Amar Satpathy said that the murder case has been discussed in the House several times, and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has also given a statement on the matter.
“Therefore, there should be no more debate after the CM’s statement as per the Rules of Business of the assembly,” he said.
The health minister was shot dead at Brajarajnagar in Jharsuguda district on January 29 when he went to the area for a programme.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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