Baijayant was with Patnaik’s Biju Janata Dal as an MP for nearly 20 years before quitting the party in 2018 and joining the BJP.
He accused Odisha police of working at the behest of the chief minister and arresting OTV executives “illegally” and intimidating them to resign. He said in the gap between their arrest and bail application, the employees were threatened and coerced to quit.
OTV is headed by Baijayant’s wife Jagi Mangat Panda. She alleged her organisation was being targeted because of its coverage of the administration’s corruption.
Her father Randhir Singh on November 10 issued a video appeal to home minister Amit Shah seeking protection from the excesses being committed by the police against his family and employees at the channel’s studio in Sarua under the guise of investigation in a land issue.
On a related note, senior OTV employee Anirudhha Panda was arrested by a posse of 15-20 cops in the wee hours of Tuesday without any explanation.
The arrest was the latest in a series of police excesses, including multiple arrests and raids without warrants, against the media organisation.
However, the Odisha government has levelled a number of allegations against OTV and its affiliate organisations.
Jagi in a media conference earlier asked the state to probe all allegations against the organisation but to stop employee harassment.