Cuttack: City Congress chief Md Moqim among 17 other Congress leaders and supporters were arrested today in connection with Purighat police station vandalism.
Three Congress corporators are among the arrested persons.
Police lifted all of them after conducting raid on their houses today.
Cuttack DCP Akhileswar Singh said several other cases are pending against the arrested leaders. Three case against Moqim and three cases against a corporator are pending in different cases. Some of them are habitual offenders, he added.
A total 24 Congress men were detained out of which 17 have been arrested for forwarded to court.
On the other hand Moquim termed the police action as politically motivated. “Police have arrsted us by implicating us in false cases. There was vandalism done by the Congress supporters. Rather, police themselves ransacked the police station furniture and trapped us in the crime. They cannot suppress our voice. The agitation will intensify,” Moqim said.
PCC president Niranjan Patnaik said that the arrest was made in a bid to harass the leaders since the court proceedings have been halted due to lawyer’s strike. “Was Moqim involved directly in the vandalism? Why was he arrested? In the same way, I could be arrested only because I am the State Congress chief,” Patnaik said.
Protesting against the arrest of a Congress worker, party leaders led by Moqim on Tuesday had allegedly ransacked the Purighat police station and staged a dharna blocking the Ring Road in front of the police station by burning tyres.
The faceoff between police and the Congress began when police on Monday night arrested Bijay Barik of Telenga Bazar. Police claim that Barik was arrested as an NBW was pending against him.