.........BHUBANESWAR: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday directed DG of Police to locate INA soldier Laxmi Indira Panda’s grandson, who is missing for the last three days.
Panda’s grandson Babuli, a native of Jeypore, had accompanied his parents Surendra Panda and Sujata Panda to Bhubaneswar to attend the felicitation of descendants of 16 freedom fighters organised by the BJP on Sunday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had felicitated them.
While Surendra reached home on Tuesday evening and Sujata, who had wrongly boarded Kalinga Utkal Express instead of Hirakhand Express, was rescued at Balasore, Babuli is still incommunicado.
As per the instruction of the CM, Balasore district administration arranged for a special vehicle for safe return of Sujata and sent district social security officer Kamalakanta Behera along with woman constable Laxmirani Panda to escort her.
Balasore Collector Pramod Kumar Das said arrangement was made for her stay at a Government guest house at Berhampur and she would leave for Jeypore on Thursday morning.
‘’Collectors of Ganjam and Koraput have been intimated. The accompanying officer has been asked to take care of her so that she would not face any trouble en route,’’ Das said.
Meanwhile, the CM felicitated Debapriya Samal, a student from Balasore, who rescued Sujata on the wee hours on Tuesday. Appreciating the humanitarian gesture of Samal, the CM presented him a memento. ‘’His good work will inspire others to help people in distress,’’ Naveen said.
Amid the controversy which has turned political with BJD and BJP engaged in blame game, Nalco found itself under scanner since the Central PSU was assigned with arranging the conveyance and stay of family members of the freedom fighters.
While the Panda family had alleged that they were not given proper care, a senior official of Nalco said all facilities were offered to them.
‘’We had offered to take care of the onward and return journey for all family members but most wanted to arrange it on their own. It was the same with the Panda family. Since they wanted to travel on their own, the travel expenses of `6,000 were paid,’’ General Manager (H&A) Sanjay Mishra said and added that there was no negligence in hospitality.
The State BJP tried to play down the issue saying it was a case of human error while the BJD said Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan should be blamed for it.