Yes, this is the story of the Odisha administration which always claims law will take its own course.
Prashant Jagdev, who has infamous antecedents of launching murderous attacks on rivals, enjoyed maximum possible patronization from his party – the ruling Biju Janata Dal after allegedly abused and slapped BJP’s Balugaon Nagar Circle President Niranjan Sethi in full public glare.
Not only did he attack Sethi, he also allegedly snatched the mobile phone of a journalist present on the spot.
There was seemingly no strong action from chief minister Naveen Patnaik. He just made a cosmetic intervention – suspension.
Suspension, as it is said in jest, is no punishment rather a reward. The culprit very well understands this kind of action is just a protection valve from the authorities to divert attention from the public eye.
Fortunately enough, the law of the land and judiciary saw that Jagdev did not run away with his political favour.
On October5, the High Court of Orissa had dismissed the anticipatory bail application of the BJD legislator and directed him to remain present in the lower court on Friday (today). The HC had also issued a direction to the lower court to hear the anticipatory bail plea of the lawmaker on the day he applied for it.
This direction, in fact, sealed the fate of Jagdev
Let’s have a look at the muscleman politician’s antecedents.
CASES FACED BY BAHUBALI BIDHAYAK
Jagdev’s affidavit in the nomination papers for the 2019 Assembly election says 10 criminal cases are pending against him in Boudh, Khurda and Bhubaneswar. Most of the cases were registered between 2014 and 2019 in Begunia when he was the local MLA.
In August 2020, a junior engineer, Jagabandhu Sahu, with Chilika Development Authority (CDA) had filed a complaint with the CEO, alleging that Jagdev misbehaved with him in an inebriated state and threatened to thrash him by local goons after an altercation.
In December 2018, Jagdev allegedly threatened former Begunia sarpanch Naba Swain at the block office in the presence of district officials.
In November 2016, he allegedly flung a kerosene lantern and abused the then Bolagada Tehsildar Niharika Nayak, an OAS officer, when she was mapping a plot of land.
In July 2016, the BJD legislator had allegedly thrashed some BJP supporters for showing black flags to the then food supply minister Sanjay Kumar Das Burma in Boudh district.
Assault or use of criminal force with the intent to outrage a woman’s modesty, voluntarily causing hurt to prevent public servants from duty, causing grievous hurt and criminal intimidation of SC, ST and railway cases.
Jagdev, however, continued to find favour with the party and he was shifted to Chilika from Begunia assembly constituency in the 2019 elections.
Jagdeve’s story speaks how the ruling party harbours criminal-minded people and protects them against prompt application of law.