Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
In responding to a comment in social media, over my article “In Kendrapada contest, Gajbhiye derserves praise, not punishment”, I have given the following opinion:
“The police did what it should have done in that situation. Saving people from blatant hooliganism was the immediate responsibility of the police. And, it discharged this responsibility with no negligence. It cannot be countenanced that the SP of a district in the situation, the most irresponsible and maliciously motivated TV journalism had whipped up, should have waited till maddened mob was to wreak mayhem. The State Government has certainly done a wrong by humiliating and harassing Gajbhiye on his spot decision at Kendrapada. Every leader of a group in charge of law and order should have the freedom to take a spot decision in public interest, notwithstanding what the law says, if that action can save many lives. Govt. may initiate any action against him on property acquisition if thereby the Code of Conduct has been violated or corruption resorted to. But in Kendrapada matter, he should be completely exonerated and on the other hand, commended”.
Many sensible readers of my write-ups have supported my view. I am preferring reproduction of one response here, because it is so relevant that the State administration ought to take it seriously. It comes from a former IPS officer Sri Arun Kumar Upadhyay as a comment on my article captioned ‘Legality of suspension of Satish Gajbhiye is questionable, but State succumbing to lawyers’ pressure is deplorable’. Here is what Mr. Upadhyay has said:
Till today, voluminous discussion in media and social sites have not indicated immediate cause of Sarathi riots. His property worth above Rs 10 crores was obvious from size of temple itself and that was known since long. What was the occasion on 6th August for 30 to 35 thousand people to get enraged against Sarathi Baba? Crowd does not know any logic. Mass hysteria would have definitely murdered Sarathi Baba without police intervention and that would have created bigger mass hysteria in form of communal riots much bigger than riots after Swami Lakshmanananda in Kandhmal 9 years ago. Since 6 August many lakhs are agitating against Sarathi Baba and Sri Gajbhiye, but no formal complaint against any person has been lodged. Alleged victim of police beating is Sri Duryodhan Sahu, district head of a national party and himself an advocate. Even common illiterate persons file case, but he has not done so. But many lakh persons agitated all over the State and FIR’s were filed by persons who are neither victims nor witnesses. Except Kendrapada, none of the police stations is having jurisdiction. Only Kendrapada has jurisdiction where no complaint is filed. Even Crime branch had to file case on own information. Do we know only to disrupt society by mass agitation but not ready to give any complaint?
I wonder, why the Police Officers, specifically the IPS officers, despite this position, are silent on Gajbhiye’s suspension.
Perhaps the wrong action taken against him sans application of mind has made them too demoralized to react.