The Minister too informed that he has filed a defamation case against three TV news channels- Argus TV, OTV and Odisha Reporter- as they have tarnished his image by levelling concocted and baseless charges for their personal and political gains.
Swearing in the name of Maa Manikeshwari, he clarified in the self-signed statement that he is no way involved in the case and he is very much concerned for unfortunate death of Mamita Meher. He also said he wants that all culprits need to be punished as per law.
“I am deeply saddened and anguished by the unfortunate death of Mamita Meher. I am a father and, thus, I understand the pain of the family of Mamita. My thoughts are with them. The guilty need to be punished as per law,” the Minister said in the statement.
He noted that he was shocked by the manner in which certain media have launched a malicious character assassination campaign against him. He said the media campaign against him has deeply hurt his family.
Regarding his silence, he clarified that he always avoided commenting on heinous offences and wanted that law take its own course. “But I felt the need to give a statement as the character assassination campaign against me has affected my family,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Minister’s statement triggered many questions being raised by opposition leaders.
“The Minister personally knew murdered victim Mamita Meher and murderer Gobinda Sahoo. He was visiting the school frequently. He has made a statement 21 days after occurrence of the incident. It is not understood why he is silent on his relationship with accused Gobinda,” wanted to know BJP State general secretary Dr Lekhasri Samantsinghar.
Samantsinghar said the Minister’s claim is false and demanded that he, as a Home Minister, tell 4.5 crore Odisha people what relationship he had with Mamita, Gobinda and the school.