Six Youth Congress workers including the Odisha Pradesh Youth Congress (OPYC) President were arrested on Sunday, for tearing PM Modi’s posters and abusing the staff of a petrol pump in Bhubaneswar. These workers as per reports were protesting against high fuel prices.
As per the OPYC President Loknath Maharathy, his organisation would not allow for the display of PM Modi’s posters at any fuel stations in Odisha, until the fuel prices came down. He further trained guns at the Modi government by claiming that the fuel prices had become “unaffordable”.
The agitation which was led by Maharathy, saw the Youth Congress workers chanting “BJP, down down”, while tearing the PM’s posters in Bhubaneswar’s Delta square. A video of this incident was tweeted by local news channels:
— OTV (@otvnews) April 8, 2018
Besides this, Maharathy and five other Youth Congress workers identified as Sagar Patnaik, Swarup Dash, Prashant Sahoo, Ranjit Kumar Patra and Amir Mohammed, also allegedly abused the petrol pump staff.
While they were carrying out their protest, Khandagiri police personnel reached the spot and arrested them. As per Inspector-in-charge (IIC) Himanshu Bhusan Swain, at least two posters of PM Modi were torn by these activists, who have been booked under various sections including Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act’s 4th Section.
Besides this incident, Congress activists were stopped near the city’s Station Square by the police while they were gearing up to embark upon a fuel price protest. The police asked them to produce necessary permission for the same, which they failed to do.
“High fuel prices” have incidentally become the latest pivot of the opposition for attacking the Modi government. This has included Congress President Rahul Gandhi asking the government to explain the fuel hike in light of what he claims as a “global drop in crude prices”.
In response to the criticism, BJP President Amit Shah has been quoted as saying that government is making efforts to reduce the fuel prices, which includes trying to inculcate Petrol and Diesel under the ambit of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).