Even as Bargarh police on Wednesday tried to take Sugrib Ranbeda, who was allegedly kidnapped by a minister, to Bhubaneswar to identify the place where he claimed he was confined, the cops had to drop the plan following orders from higher authorities.
Two weeks ago, Sugrib, a member of Rusuda Service Co-operative Society, had alleged that he was kidnapped and confined to the official residence of Handloom and Textile Minister Snehangini Chhuria in Bhubaneswar to prevent him from voting in cooperative election. Election to the cooperative society was held on January 25.
After Leader of the Opposition Narasingh Mishra raised the issue in the Assembly, police decided to take him to Bhubaneswar where he claimed he was confined to a room. While police were approaching Boudh, one of the officers received a call and was asked to take Sugrib back to his village at Rusuda.
In his complaint to the Bargarh SP on January 27, Sugrib had alleged that on January 18, supporters of Chhuria – Sadanand Khamari of Bagiapali, P Satyanarayan of Bheden and Dumatsen Rana of Dhatukpali – took him to the residence of the Minister in Bargarh. Later, he was taken to the Minister’s residence at Bhubaneswar.
When he requested the Minister to allow him to cast his vote, Chhuria allegedly locked him in her house and went to Kalahandi on a tour. Later, he was dropped in his village, a day after the election, on January 25. “Though my son Durga had reported the matter to the police the same day, no action has been taken so far,” Sugrib alleged.
Bargarh SP Umashankar Dash said efforts are on to nab the persons named in the complaint.
Chhuria, however, refuted the allegations. “The charges are false and politically motivated. I am in no way involved in the incident,” she said, adding that she is ready to face any inquiry.