Bhubaneswar: Asking Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to relinquish the home portfolio in view of "rising crimes" in Odisha, Congress today demanded a CBI probe into killing of two persons in police firing on 31 March.
Raising the issue in the Assembly during an adjournment motion discussion, Congress chief whip Prasad Harichandan said, "There has been rise in crimes, particularly in chief minister's native Ganjam district. As he has failed to perform responsibilities as home minister, Patnaik should hand over the portfolio to someone else."
Quoting from the white paper recently released by the Home Department, Harichandan pointed out that at least "three women were raped, four persons killed and five looting incidents take place in the state every day".
While at least 14 cases of atrocities against SC and ST were being registered across the state, 22 cases of atrocities against women were reported on daily basis, he claimed.
Demanding CBI probe into the 31 March police-villagers clash at Phasipada under Kodala police station where two persons were killed and 53 others injured, the Congress leader wanted to know as to why the police did not use rubber bullets and water canon to disperse the mob.
Police went there to rescue three persons detained by villagers suspecting them of practising witchcraft.
"Police opened fire in self defence as the mob attacked them with bombs and stones," the chief minister said, adding 36 policemen and 19 villagers were injured in the incident and two persons died.
Patnaik said he ordered a judicial probe into the incident and suspended a police inspector.
Unhappy over his reply, Opposition members then staged a walk out.