In a shocking incident, a man threw a pair of shoes at Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik while the latter was addressing an election meeting in Bargarh on Tuesday. Even as the chief minister escaped unhurt, the shoe hit his personal security officer. Soon after the incident, security personnel took the the attacker into custody, while Patnaik was escorted to safety. The incident occurred in Bijepur Assembly constituency’s Khumbhari village while the chief minister was addressing a meeting after a road show in Barpali. The accused has already been detained by the police and interrogation is underway. The bypoll for Bijepur seat will take place on February 24.
Political leaders across parties have condemned the incident. “It is an unfortunate incident. It appears to be sponsored as the BJP is losing the election in Bijepur,” BJD vice president and Odisha minister S N Patro was quoted as saying by PTI in Bhubaneswar. Condemning the incident, BJP spokesman Sajan Sharma said, “There is no place for violence in democracy”. Expressing concern over the incident, Congress spokesman Debasish Patnaik said it has set a bad trend in the state.
The incident occurred three weeks after a woman threw eggs at Naveen Patnaik while he was addressing a gathering during Talasari beach festival in Balasore district of the state. The accused woman was arrested and sent to prison. However she was soom let off by the police, after withdrawing case against her at the insistence of the chief minister.
Last month, a show was thrown at the AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi while he was addressing a rally at Mumbai’s Nagpada locality. While he was not hurt, the accused was identified and the police registered a case against him.
— ANI (@ANI) February 20, 2018
The AIMIM chief addressing the rally in the late evening when a shoe was thrown at him. After the incident Owaisi, remained unfazed, did not stop his speech. He said, “I am willing to lay down my life for my democratic rights. These are all frustrated people who cannot see the government decision on triple talaq has not been accepted by masses in general and Muslims in particular,” Indian Express quoted him as saying.