Former BJD leader Baijayant Jay Panda has slammed the party for politicising the death of a soldier by draping his coffin with the party flag of BJD.
Odia Jawan Naik Ajit Kumar Sahoo of 44 Rashtriya Rifles (RR) was martyred following an IED blast in Jammu & Kashmir’s Pulwama district on June 17. He was reportedly injured in the blast at Arihal on Monday and succumbed to his injuries the next day.
Soon an image of the martyr’s coffin wrapped in a Biju Janata Dal (BJD) flag went viral on social media. Seeing the image, the BJP National Vice President Baijayant Jay Panda sought an apology form the ruling party in Odisha.
Terming the incident “very unfortunate”, Panda took to Twitter to slam Odisha’s ruling party for “politicising the death of the soldier by draping his coffin with their party flag instead of the Tricolour.”
Very unfortunate, politicising the death of an Indian soldier by the ruling party in Odisha draping his coffin with their party flag instead of the tricolor.
Request national media to call this out, & BJD to apologise & commit to never repeating it ??? https://t.co/Y70tdx5aJB
— Baijayant Jay Panda (@PandaJay) June 21, 2019
A resident of Badasuala village in Kamakhyanagar block of Dhenkanal district in Odisha, Sahoo had joined the Indian Army in 2015.
The Braveheart was cremated in full state honour. The mortal remains of martyr Ajit Sahoo reached the Biju Patnaik International Airport late night on Wednesday. Later it was taken to campus of the 120 Infantry Battalion campus, where a guard of honour was accorded.
Governor Ganeshi Lal, Ministers Ashok Panda and Prafulla Mallick, MLA Ranendra Pratap Swain and BJP leader Prakash Mishra offered floral tributes to the fallen jawan.
Ajit Kumar Sahoo’s brother Parameswar Sahoo appealed everyone not to politicise the issue. He said that some BJD members had placed the party flag on the coffin while paying tribute to the soldier. Later he had removed the flag.
BJD flag on coffin of martyr Ajit Sahoo: His brother Parameswar Sahoo urges everyone not to politicise the issue; says, “Some party (BJD) members paid tributes to my brother but when I saw their party flag, I removed it; he has died for the country, not for any party or person” pic.twitter.com/V6U4Yfx4c1
— OTV (@otvnews) June 21, 2019
Reacting to the development, BJD leadership distanced itself from the act, saying it was done by some party workers. BJD spokesperson Sasmit Patra condemned the incident calling it unfortunate. He said that the party strongly condemns the incident, and added that the party will take action against the persons responsible for the same.
#BJDFlagOnMartyrBody: BJD Spokesperson Sasmit Patra condemns the incident & calls it as unfortunate; says, “Our party has respect for the martyred Odia jawan. Action will be taken against those who are responsible for the incident.” pic.twitter.com/af4doY93W5
— OTV (@otvnews) June 21, 2019
On June 17, the terrorist had carried out the attack at the mobile vehicle patrol of 44 RR with a vehicle-based IED. Nine jawans and two civilians were injured in the attack. The place where the attack took place was just 27 km away from the area where the CRPF convoy was attacked by a Jaish-e-Mohammed suicide bomber on February 14 killing 44 CRPF Jawans in one of the worst terror attacks in the Valley.