The “Call for Change” campaign of Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) turned violent on Thursday as the police went after the party activists who attempted to gherao the State Assembly, leaving many, from both sides, injured here on Thursday.
Reacting to this, the Congress supporters assaulted a policewoman. Pramila Padhi, a constable with city police, cannot forget that day. The 39-year-old policewoman sustained serious injuries. The mob of Congress workers pulled her into their midst and beat her up. By the time other policemen rescued her, she had sustained serious injuries and fallen unconscious.
The Constable and Habildar Association of Odisha threatened to go on a ceasework agitation if the culprits were not arrested within 48 hours. “It is height of hooliganism by Congress supporters. If her assaulters are not arrested within 48 hours, we will boycott duties and hit the streets,” state president of the association Padmanabh Behera said. The association members also threatened to abstain from the security duties of Congress VVIPs in future.
At times, the securitymen armed with batons had to hide behind police vehicles to shield themselves.
A group of women constables was found hiding in a garage. “We do not want to face them with just batons in our hands. They are not even sparing women,” said Gita Jena, a woman constable.
DGP Prakash Mishra said the violence was well planned. “Despite more than 60 police personnel sustaining injuries, we restrained from taking extreme measures. As per the instructions of the chief minister, Capital Hospital authorities have been providing free treatment to all injured persons,” said Mishra.