Koraput (Odisha), Nov 24 (PTI) Former Lok Sabha MP and state president of Utkal Bharat party, Kharabela Swain, was abused and roughed up while speaking at a street corner meeting at Rayagada district on Saturday, police said.
Swain has not lodged any formal complaint but the police has taken suo motu cognizance of the incident.
The attacker, identified as Sumanta Nayak (35), has been detained, police said.
“Nayak attacked Swain in an inebriated condition. He has been detained for interrogation. Whether Nayak attacked Swain on his own or he was directed by someone to do so is under investigation. Necessary action will be taken once we complete our interrogation,” said Raj Kishore Das, SDPO, Rayagada.
According to the police, the incident took place at around 4 pm while Swain, along with few of his partymen, was speaking at a street corner meeting at Kasipur.
Minutes after Swain started speaking, a group of locals started objecting to it and Swain was forced to cut short his speech.
Swain had just started targeting the Naveen Patnaik government for the reported precarious condition of the state when a group of locals created a ruckus and didnt allow the former parliamentarian to speak, said a source at Kasipur.
“As tension prevailed at the spot, Swain wound up his speech and was sitting on a chair when a man came from behind, abused and attacked him,” he added.
Police said that Swain had obtained permission from sub-collecotr (Rayagada) for using loudspeakers for the meeting.
Political parties in the state have condemned the incident.
“We condemn tha attack on Swain in strong words. This incident exposes the dual character of the chief minister. On one hand he preaches ‘Ahimsa’ (non violence) and on the other, his people are attacking Swain,” BJP state vice president Samir Mohanty said.
BJD spokesman Sasmit Patra said: “We too condemn such attack. The man who attacked Swain has been detained by police. Required action would be taken against him. However, Swain should not blame the ruling party for the incident.”
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.