Jagatsinghpur, Oct 25 (LocalWire): The sizable Muslim community of Krishnanandpur panchayat in Tirtol block has made two demands from the ruling BJD leaders: withdrawal of false rioting cases against them in the local police station and filling up of the three doctor posts lying vacant in the Krishnanandpur Primary Health Centre.
Meanwhile, the BJP has started wooing the Muslim community taking advantage of the community’s grievances against the ruling party.
The Muslim community has been playing a decisive role in elections for the Tirtol seat for a long time.
Earlier, the Congress had huge support from the Muslim community but the BJD has shared the vote bank since the year 2000.
In June 2020, Muslims of the area ventured to perform Namaz in a mosque in Krishnanandpur even though the government had restricted the same to curb the spread of coronavirus.
After receiving information, local police personnel entered the Akhunmahala mosque and caned the local people.
They locked some of the people inside the mosque and threatened to arrest them for violating COVID-19 rules and restrictions.
Aggrieved at the police excesses, the community demonstrated in front of a police outpost. The outpost was ransacked and the personal vehicle of the Officer-in-Charge of the outpost was torched.
The police registered FIRs against 200 people, out of which 11 were arrested.
The Muslim community alleges that 5 out of the 11 are innocent and hence demand the withdrawal of cases against the innocent ones.
On the other hand, there is one Primary Health Centre (PHC) in Krishnanandpur panchayat, and it does not have even a single doctor out of the three doctors sanctioned for it.
Meanwhile, BJD party leader cum MP Muna Khan and BJD leader cum general secretary Ayub Khan visited the panchayat and interacted with the voters of the community.
Poll observers have informed, “This is a golden opportunity for both the BJP and Congress parties to woo the Muslim votes.
This issue has also reflected in other panchayats where the Muslim communities have united with the issue of this community.
The BJP believes that it could snatch a sizable number of votes in this seat from the BJD.”