BJP demands arrest of minister Mallick in a murder case in Dhenkanal

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha unit of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which observed a 12-hour bandh in Dhenkanal protesting the murder of party activist Salman Rout, on Monday demanded the arrest of Steel and Mines minister Prafulla Mallick for his alleged involvement in the murder case.

The party accused the Minister of conspiring to kill Salman Rout in Tarabha in Dhenkanal district.

“As the minister is the local MLA, he wants his party to win all seats in the ensuing panchayat polls. From initial reports, we have come to know that Prafulla Mallick is the chief conspirator in the murder of Salman Rout, who was an active member of our party. He should be brought under the purview of the police investigation and be arrested immediately,” BJP spokesperson Sajjan Sharma told media persons here.

He demanded that the phone call records of the minister must be scrutinised to ascertain his involvement in the matter.

Mallick, however, termed the allegations levelled by the BJP baseless.

“The allegations are baseless. BJP is trying to politicise the issue ahead of panchayat polls. I am ready for any investigation. We are not harbouring anybody and let police investigate. Since police have already arrested the accused, he would be punished by law,” said Mallick.

Meanwhile, the state election commission (SEC) has sought a report from Dhenkanal district collector on the issue.