By Subash Mohapatra
The Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik often opens his remarks by saying: Law will take its own course.
But the Odisha police seems to be more powerful than the state government machinery and law. After a horrific incident of killing of five tribals recently, including a two-year-old child, near Gumudumaha village in Kandhamal on July 8 this year which continues to be a major headache for Odisha police, further adding to their discomfort, the Odisha police has now forcefully occupied Kalahandi’s PWD Inspection Bungalow located at Kalampur by breaking in.
Interestingly, the police department is under the direct stewardship of the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik who is also the minister for Home in the state government.
In a blatant defiance of law and the strength the police enjoys in the state, an investigation conducted by www.headlineseveryday.com reveals that the ‘mighty’ Odisha police officials barged into the Inspection Bungalow of the Odisha Public Works Department on 9th June 2016 breaking the locks of the main building. During the investigation it has also been revealed that even though the watchman posted at the inspection bungalow requested the policemen to show the permission letter, the latter failed to do so and showing their might broke the locks to enter into the main building.
But still no action has been taken nor has FIR been lodged against the police department itself. The Odisha police, in this case, can be tried for trespassing, criminal force in occupying public office place, assault or force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty and housebreaking.
According to the documents available with www.headlineseveryday.com, when the matter came to the notice of the Executive Engineer of PWD Kalahandi (R&B) Division, he went to Kalampur Inspection Bunglow to see the state of affairs himself and discussed the matter with the Superintendent of Police, Kalahandi. The Police Superintendent told the engineer that there was a discussion with the Ex Executive Engineer Kalahandi (R&B) and correspondence had been made accordingly.
On June 18th, 2016, the Executive Engineer of PWD Kalahandi (R&B) Division wrote a letter to the Chief Engineer (D.P.I. & Roads), Odisha informing him of the violation of several laws by the police department. He also informed the Chief Engineer that till that date, he received no occupation report in his office.
Taking serious note of the ‘might’ used by Odisha police in forcibly occupying government property for their use, the Chief Engineer sent another letter on June 27th, 2016 addressed to the Engineer in Chief cum Secretary to the Government informing him of the forced entry of police personnel into the government building.
As the government has always maintained a lackadaisical attitude towards welfare of the people in general, this time too it failed to find an immediate remedy or take stern action against their own state police.
After about 15 days, on July 13th, 2016, the Additional Secretary to the Odisha Government BK Patnaik of Works Department wrote a letter to the Special Secretary to Government, Home Department urging him to issue orders to the police to vacate the said premises.
Till date no action has been taken.