Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government suspended a police officer over Tuesday’s protest that forced Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to enter the secretariat here through the back gate, an official said Saturday.

The government suspended assistant sub-inspector P.C. Rana for dereliction of duty. He was asked to keep a watch on the movement of the protestors which he failed to do, a senior city police official told IANS.

About 30 activists of the Nabanirman Krushak Sanghathan (NKS), a farmers’ organisation, blocked the chief minister’s convoy here Tuesday while he was on his way to the office.

The protest took place in the prohibited area near the state secretariat which is also a few metres away from the traffic police station.

Police did not have any prior information of the protest. The chief minister was forced to enter the secretariat through the back gate.

Hours after the incident, the government transferred Additional Director General of Police (Intelligence) Abhaya (he goes by one name), and posted him as director of the government press.

Sunil Roy, 1986 batch officer of the Indian Police Service (IPS), replaced him.

Police also arrested 26 NKS activists, including their leader Akshay Kumar.

The NKS has been demanding a compensation of Rs.2,000 per month to farmers affected by a cyclone in October, and Rs.500 bonus for 100 kg of paddy over the minimum support price of Rs.1,350 a quintal.

Source: IANS