BJD MLA, CRPF, martyr, manhandle, funeral, Pulwama attack
Courtesy: Video grab from a local TV YouTube Channel

A BJD MLA Debashish Samantaray on Tuesday apologized for manhandling a man of a CRPF jawan’s funeral who was killed in Pulwama terror attack on February 14.

The apology came from the MLA after the video of his shameful act got viral on social media and he faced criticism for his unruly behaviour.

“I have the highest respect for the martyred jawans and their families. On (February) 16, I had gone to Manoj Kumar Behera’s house and spent time with his father and met his wife. I shouldered his body while he was taken for the last rites,” Samantaray said later.

Also Read: Union MoS Alphons faces backlash on social media for posting selfie with a martyr’s coffin

In his apology, BJD MLA said that when the guard of honour was being given, there was some indiscipline and he unknowingly hurt someone. He issued apology and appealed everyone to not to politicise the issue.

“When a guard of honour was being given, there was some indiscipline. I made someone sit down. Later, I found he was a distant relative. If I have unknowingly hurt someone, I apologise and appeal to everyone not to politicise the issue,” he said.

In the video, Samantary is seen manhandling a man and shoving him down by scruff of his neck near the martyr’s coffin. This incident occurred when Behra, the slain CRPF jawan, was being paid homage before his mortal remains were consigned to flames in his native village of Ratanpur in Cuttack district on February 16.

 Soon after the video got viral, BJP thrashed out at MLA and termed the act “anti-national”.

Odisha Congress chief Niranjan Patnaik tweeted, “The insensitivity and inhumanity with which BJD MLA Debashish Samantaray treats the kin of braveheart Manoj Behera who made supreme sacrifice for the nation will make any patriot’s blood boil. This deep-rooted arrogance and feudalistic mindset is what BJD is all about. SHAMEFUL!”

Also Read: Grief-stricken by Pulwama attack, twitterati lashes out Soundarya Rajinikanth for posting honeymoon pics

However, Behera’s family members said that while they had not witnessed the incident, the ‘manhandled’ man was not a relative. Some of them, however, expressed disappointment over the entire incident.

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