BJD and BJP members clash during bandh in Bhubaneshwar

'Fishing out' radioactive elements from nuclear waste.

BHUBANESWAR,Dec22: Members of ruling Biju Janata Dal and Bharatiya Janata Party clashed in the streets of Bhubaneshwar on Wednesday during a dawn-to-dusk bandh in the city called by the BJP demanding resignation of Bhubaneswar mayor Ananta Narayan Jena.

Stick-wielding cadre of the youth wing of BJD clashed with BJP protestors on Janpath, the main thoroughfare of the city. In response, a group of BJP protestors vandalised a KFC outlet nearby.

BJP claimed that the bandh and protests were peaceful until the police allowed a bike rally of Biju Cchatra Janata Dal. These bikers started the violence, BJP alleged.

Opposition parties have been demanding a probe into Jena’s alleged involvement in the mysterious death of a student, Ashutosh Mohanty — better known by his nickname Rishi — in May this year.

The issue was raked up by National Students Union of India (NSUI),  the youth wing of Congress, more than a week ago, when it alleged that a secretly filmed sex clip shared by a portal and doing the rounds featured Jena and that the powerful BJD leader was also involved in Rishi’s murder.

While Youth Congress members blocked traffic for a few hours on Tuesday BJP’s bandh on Wednesday threw normal life out of gear in the city. Some passengers arriving at the airport got home in rikshaws and some took a ride in police car. . Chief minister Naveen Patnaik came to office in tight security while some of his ministers arrived riding pillion on bikes.

Jena has denied any involvement in Rishi’s death or the sex video clip, and has received a court injunction against any airing of the video. He has also filed a defamation suit against NSUI’s Odisha president Itish Pradhan and the portal that first aired the clip. He refused comment to ET, saying the matter was sub judice.

State police has promised to complete investigations into Mohanty’s untimely death.

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