Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen
Patnaik on Thursday dubbed as "false", allegations of a former
minister that the BJD chief had ignored his advice on the
volatile situation in Kandhamal during the 2008 riots, even as
the BJP leader levelled fresh charges against him.
"What he said is not correct. This is a false
allegation," Patnaik told reporters while reacting to BJP
leader Manmohan Samal`s statement before Justice S C Mohapatra
commission of inquiry on the violence.
While deposing before the commission yesterday, Samal
had alleged that Patnaik did not pay any heed to his advice
and failed to take appropriate steps to avoid the violence in
which at least 38 people were killed.
Meanwhile, Samal made fresh charges against Patnaik
and said "if I am incorrect, then let the chief minister tell
what is correct... He (Patnaik) is free to speak the correct
things about the riot".
The BJP leader, who was cross-examined by advocates at
the commission today, said the killing of VHP leader
Laxamananda Saraswati had triggered the violence.
"Had chief minister acted promptly and provided
adequate security to Saraswati, he would not have been
killed," Samal said and accused Patnaik of failing to augment
Saraswati`s security even after an FIR was filed at the local
police station showing threat perception for the VHP leader.
The state government also did not activate the CRPF
operation in Kandhamal area some days before Saraswati`s
killing, Samal alleged.
Though CRPF jawans were in a camp at Tumudibandha,
barely some kilometres from Saraswati`s ashram, they were not
activated as their deployment duration had expired.
"I had told the chief minister several times to make
CRPF operational. But the state government did not take any
action in this regard," Samal said.
He also claimed that Saraswati`s personal security
officer (PSO) was changed and the new PSO was on leave on
August 25, 2008, the day on which the VHP leader was killed.
"Chief minister must tell the commission about the
reason of not operating CRPF, change of Saraswati`s PSO and
his mysterious absence on the day of killing," Samal told
reporters outside the commission`s office.