Expressing displeasure over the manner in which the organisers handled the second Twenty20 cricket match between India and South Africa at Cuttack on Monday, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday ordered a probe into the incident , to be submitted by the home secretary.
“The chief minister has asked the home secretary to probe into the matter leading to spectators throwing water bottles to playground. The home secretary is asked to submit his report within a month,” an official at the Chief Minister’s Office said.
Patnaik also warned both the Odisha Cricket Association (OCA) functionaries and police to remain cautious to prevent the recurrence of such incidents in the future. The chief minister, who held a meeting to discuss the episode, wanted an explanation from both the police and the OCA demanding to know under what circumstances water bottles were allowed into the spectators gallery.
Patnaik convened an urgent meeting at the state secretariat attended by home secretary Asit Tripathy, DGP Sanjeev Marik, commissioner of police RP Sharma, sports secretary Saswat Mishra and Odisha Cricket Association (OCA) secretary Asirbad Behera. “We have apprised the chief minister about the circumstances under which water bottles were allowed to the spectators gallery. I should not comment outside more,” Behera said after the meeting.
Asked what the chief minister suggested to the OCA, Behera said, “He asked us to maintain the name and fame of Barabati Stadium. The chief minister also cautioned that yesterday’s incident should not be repeated.”
Behera, however, refused to say that it was a wrong strategy to allow water bottles inside the spectators gallery even as OCA President Ranjib Biswal had admitted that officially providing water containers was a mistake on part of the organisers.
“I cannot comment on what Biswal has said,” Behera said.
DGP Sanjeev Marik, who also attended the meeting refused to comment on the issue.
Commissioner of Police RP Sharma had on Monday blamed the OCA authorities for the fiasco as the police from the beginning was against allowing water bottles into the spectators gallery.