Odisha violence a `political conspiracy`: Tytler

Senior Congress leaders Jagdish Tytler, Niranjan Patnaik and several others have been booked by the Odisha police in connection with a clash.

Zeenews bureau

Bhubaneswar: Hours after the Odisha police registered a case against Jagdish Tytler in connection with a clash between party supporters and policemen during a rally, the senior Congress leader defended himself on Saturday.

Earlier in the day, senior Congress leaders Jagdish Tytler, Niranjan Patnaik and several others were booked by police.

Defending his role in the violence that left over 260 people injured, state Congress in-charge Jagdish Tytler alleged that police fired tear gas shells, threw water on the workers even before he commenced his speech.

Ulta chor Kotwal ko daante (`The pot calling the kettle black`), Tytler contended, adding that what happened was a political conspiracy.

"Different cases have been registered against several Congress leaders including state Congress in-charge Jagdish Tytler and Niranjan Patnaik on various charges pertaining to Thursday`s violence," Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Nitinjeet Singh said.

Singh said five cases have so far been registered at Capital Police Station and Kharavel Nagar police station while police intensified efforts to identify and arrest those responsible for the violence.

Cases were filed for various offences like criminal conspiracy, rioting, causing grievous injury, endangering lives of others, outraging modesty and mischief to destroy under different sections of IPC and Prevention of Destruction of Public Property Act, police said.

While over 34 people have so far been arrested for the violence and attack on a woman constable, who was critically injured, more arrests are likely after identification of culprits with the help of CCTV footage, according to Assistant Commissioner of Police Nihar Das.

Thousands of Congress workers clashed with police on MG Road on Thursday while trying to picket the state Assembly building demanding resignation of Patnaik over the Coalgate row leaving around 260 people, including 60 police personnel injured.

In the aftermath of the clash, the ruling BJD and opposition Congress traded charges blaming each other for the violence that took place near the Assembly building.

(With PTI inputs)