Liquor shop protest spills on street at Sambalpur

sambalpur-liqureHundreds of women of Gumulei area on Saturday staged a road blockade here demanding the closure of a government-run country made liquor shop in their locality.

According to sources, the women sat on the road shouting slogans against the authorities for allowing the liquor shop to be set up there. The road blockade created a big traffic jam for several hours.

Besides, they also hurled stones at the liquor shop, the sources added.

An agitating woman said, “Number of persons dying every year by consuming liquor. So creating awareness and close the liquor shop in our locality we hit the road today.”

On being informed about the incident, senior police officials, Additional Tehsildar of Rengali and Excise department officials rushed to the spot.

The irate women withdraw their strike after the officials promised them to close the liquor shop during its next registration.

1600 ltrs PDS kerosene seized from Sambalpur garage, one held

During massive raids launched on Tuesday in the district headquarters town of western Odisha’s Sambalpur, cops and Vigilance sleuths have arrested one person apart from seizing 1600 litres of PDS kerosene and 2,000 litres of diesel from a garage on NH-53 under Ainthapalli police limits in the town.

As per reports, the accused and his conduits used to decant PDS kerosene from tankers and used it to adulterate diesel in a bid to sell to bus and lorry owners for making huge profits.

Police sources said that the accused had been into this blackmarketing for the last seven years.

Need to be recalled that the Vigilance sleuths on December 22 had also seized a tanker carrying PDS kerosene from Dunguripada Bhalubahal area under Sasan police limits in Sambalpur district.

SMC planned new parks in city

Sambalpur municipal corporation has planned to develop five new parks in the city. The State Government has sanctioned Rs.1.03 crore for this development.

Municipal Engineer of SMC Basanta Padhy said the parks are being developed at Gobindtola, in front of the office of Regional Transport Office (RTO) at Sambalpur, Sriram Vihar at Burla, near Jagannath Temple and Government ITI at Hirakud.

While the park at Gobindtola is being constructed at an estimated cost of Rs.20 lakh over half an acre of land, the park in front of the office of RTO is being developed at an estimated cost of Rs.23 lakh over half an acre of land.

Similarly, the park at Burla is being developed at Rs.40 lakh over 1.5 acre of land while the park at Hirakud is being constructed at Rs.10 lakh over half an acre of land and the one near Government ITI will also be developed over half an acre of land at an estimated cost of Rs.10 lakh.

The SMC has planned to construct walking tracks, lawns, gardens and benches in the parks. Apart from this, playing equipment will also be installed for children.

Despite being upgraded into a city, Sambalpur lacks both entertainment and recreational spots. The few that exist are located far off and can not be ventured into on a daily basis.

Convenor of Progressive Sambalpur, Sanjit Mohanty said apart from the five parks, SMC should also work on development of the existing parks. Adequate lighting facility and security arrangement should be made in all the parks. If required, a token entry fee be charged so that there is a sense of responsibility among the people for the upkeep of the park, he added.

Bargarh wildlife sanctuary gears up for tourist season

Unlike other wildlife sanctuaries in the state, the Debrigarh wildlife sanctuary in Bargarh district is a much sought after destination for tourists as it offers easy and better sighting of animals, thanks to the park’s proximity to the Hirakud water reservoir. And now that winter has set in, tourists will start arriving in droves.

The reservoir is the main source of water for the prey and wild animals. Besides, there is less human interference here. While the route between Dhodrokusum to Chourasimal has been identified as the bison route, the stretch from Dhodrokusum to Damkighati is known for the presence of herbivores such as boar, spotted deer and sambar. Leopards are sighted on the route from Lakhanpur to Badduma, reports The Times of India.

Divisional forest officer (Hirakud wildlife division) Sudeep Nayak said sighting is best between 4 and 6 pm.

Mostly tourists from West Bengal flock the sanctuary between December and March. The eco-tourism cottages at Barakhandia have been designed in such a way overlooking the reservoir that tourists can watch migratory birds such as ducks, geese and waders from the cottages. To see animals along specific routes, permission has to be sought from the range office at Dhodrokusum.

Maoists call for bandh, in protest of innocent civilian deaths

The Maoists have called for a bandh in three blocks of Kalahandi district in western Odisha on November 23 protesting against the Karlapat police encounter in which three local villagers were killed on Sunday afternoon.

In an audio tape released by top Maoist leader and Bansadhara-Ghumusara-Nagavali Division secretary Umakant claimed that there was no exchange of fire from the rebels during the encounter.

He has alleged that police opened fire indiscriminately in a bid to terrorise locals and following which the three innocent villagers were killed. Umakant has also demanded Rs 10 lakh compensation to the bereft families.

One of the injured boys has said they had gone inside the forest in search of their missing goats when the incident took place.

Menawhile, the Odisha Human Rights Commission (OHRC) on Monday has directed the Deputy Inspector General (South Western Range) to probe and submit an inquiry report over the killing of three civilians by security personnel during a combing operation in Karlapat forest in Kalahandi district on Sunday.

Acting on a petition filed by advocate Prabir Das and human rights activist Manoj Jena, the OHRC has directed the DIG to conduct a probe into the matter and submit a report within four weeks.

It is to be noted that three villagers including a ward member were killed and two minors injured when the security personnel allegedly opened fire at them during a combing operation in Kalahandi district on Sunday.

The injured persons were admitted in the district hospital.

As per reports, the three bodies of the villagers were still lying in the forest while the two injured were admitted to the Bhawanipatna District Headquarters Hospital (DHH).

Out of the two injured, one is a minor boy who has sustained bullet injury on his nose tip while the other minor has sustained bullet injury on his back.

They have been identified as Arjun Majhi and Icchhu Majhi.

Talking to PrameyaNews7 on Sunday, the injured minor boy said they had been to the nearby forest in search of the missing goat of Panchpur Ward Member Jayshankar Naik when the jawans opened fire following which Jayshankar, Sukru Majhi and Jaya Majhi got killed on the spot.

Injured Arjun and Icchhu had run back to the village and informed about the unfortunate happening and were rushed to the Bhawanipatna District Headquarters Hospital by 108 Ambulance.

On the contrary, the district Superintendent of Police (SP) Brijesh Ray said media that during the search operation launched by the jawans the three bodies were discovered.

Amazingly, the autopsy of the three bodies were reportedly conducted on Sunday night at about 2 am and handed over to their families.

Meanwhile, the two injured minor boys have been referred to Burla VSS Medical College and Hospital.

Pertinent to note that, this is not the lone case of the jawans having killed civilians mistaking them as Maoists.

Earlier, they had killed an innocent youth in Nuapada district and buried the body and had injured other two youths.

Such incidents have also taken place earlier in Bargarh and Khandhamal districts.