Odisha orders crime branch probe to lady collector-lawyer row

The Odisha government today ordered a probe into the alleged manhandling of Sambalpur district collector Mrinalini Darswal and ransacking of her office by lawyers. “Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has ordered a probe by the Crime Branch of Odisha Police,” an official release said. Noting that the government has sought a report from the district administration and police chief, Home Secretary B K Patnaik said “appropriate steps will be taken.

” The local bar association gave a bandh call in the district headquarters town tomorrow demanding the collector’s dismissal, president of the Sambalpur Bar Association Pramod Rath said. He alleged that the collector misbehaved with lawyers on a bus when they were going to the corporate office of the Western Electricity Company at Burla to protest unscheduled power cuts yesterday. “The allegations made by her are false. “We condemn the behaviour of such a high official of the district.

” The high court bar association has extended support to the bandh, he claimed. Government employees from across the district took out a rally from the official residence of the collector and submitted the minutes of the meeting, which was organised by them yesterday, to the revenue divisional commissioner (northern division) and the inspector general of police, northern range. Condemning the manhandling of the collector and the district sub registrar, the employees demanded immediate police action against the lawyers.

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