Five bodies found on railway tracks, police suspect mass suicide

Mutilated bodies of music teacher Dharanidhar Panda, his wife Sangeeta Panda and their three daughters, in the age group of 13-20, were spotted by driver of a train at Sarala junction near Sambalpur town.

Inspector of Sambalpur Government Railway Police G Dungdung said preliminary investigation indicates it’s a case of mass suicide. “We recovered five bodies of four female and one male. The bodies have been sent for post-mortem,” he said.

It was, however, not immediately known whether the family was under any kind of stress to take the extreme step.

Panda worked as a music teacher in a local school. The school was closed for the day following his death as a mark of respect. Colleagues and students remembered Panda as a kind human being and sincere. “He had come to school yesterday (Tuesday) and left in the afternoon. There was no trace of anxiety or depression on his face,” said a colleague.

Expressing shock over the incident, Sambalpur MLA Raseswari Panigrahi demanded a proper probe into the incident to unearth the truth.

Three farmers end life in seven days in Bargarh

Farmers frustrated with government officials’ non-response to their grievances on Tuesday set acres of paddy crop in Odisha’s Bargarh district as a mark of protest.

According to reports, the farmers had procured pesticide from government agencies to protect their crop. However, they found the pesticide of very low quality and failing to prevent the pests from eating out standing crop. The farmers again drew the attention of the district administration to the problem.

However, as no response positive response came from the government side, as many as 10 farmers on Tuesday morning set their crop fire. “Farmers of Bargarh have been complaining about the quality of the pesticide since long and demanding interventions by the government agencies but to no available. This government is totally apathetic towards the farmers,” said Seshadeba Nanda, a noted farmers leader.

Agriculture minister Dr Damodar Rout remained incommunicado for his comment. At least three farmers in Baragarh district have committed suicide in the past seven days due to crop loss.

Naveen announces Rs 1250 crore canal project for Bargarh

Ahead of the by-election to Bijepur Assembly constituency, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today announced an underground pipeline irrigation project at an estimated cost of Rs 1250 crores in Bargarh district.

The project, which would be the first of its kind with the underground pipeline in the country, will be named as Gangadhar Meher Lift Canal System.

The project will irrigate a gross command area of about 32, 000 hectares including 25,600 hectares in khariff and 7, 000 hectares in Rabi season in Bijepur area, one of the drought-prone region of the district.

“The project will pump water from Baragarh main canal through an 18 km long underground rising main pipeline, where irrigation will be provided through underground pipelines based distribution system with outlets for every four hectares of land”, said the Chief Minister.

The project will utilise latest technologies in irrigation and will be developed as a model project for the entire country, he claimed.

“My Government accords topmost priority to agriculture. We are on course to create an additional irrigation potential of 10 lakh hectares in the state during the five years period by 2019,” said the Chief Minister.

Sambalpur RIs threaten pen down strike

Odisha State Revenue Field Officers’ Association, on Sunday, threatened a pen down strike at all the Revenue Inspector offices in Sambalpur district protesting delay in arresting the woman lawyer who allegedly thrashed a female Revenue Inspector in Sambalpur on September 14.

The association said, Revenue Inspector Sushree Geetanjali Panigrahi, had lodged a complaint with Sambalpur police in this regard on September 14 and submitted a memorandum to the SP and the district Collector on September 15 urging the authority to look into the matter.

Sushree claimed that a man named Ankit Barik approached her for getting a caste certificate, but as he is a native of Subarnapur district, she advised him to visit the Revenue Inspector’s office in his home town. “A woman lawyer then approached me for about three times on his behalf, but I told her the same thing. On September 14, when I was standing in-front of the sub-collector’s office in Sambalpur, the lawyer came and physically assaulted me,” she alleged during a press meet here on Sunday. The association also theatened to carry out state-wide protests if the authorities did not take any action in this regard within seven days.

Three minors burnt alive in Ranikhenda

In a tragic incidence, three children, including a brother and sister were burnt alive after a fire broke out due to a LPG cylinder leak in a house at Ranikhenda village under Sasan police limits in Sambalpur district on Wednesday.

The Son and daughter of Narottam Jagat, residing as a tenant in the house, along with a neighbor child were killed in the fire mishap.

The deceased were identified as bijayani(13), Thakur Ram(11), Kirti(17). Reportedly, a gas stove in an adjacent room suddenly caught fire which spread to the room in which the children were sitting and watching television.

Meanwhile, police with the help of fire brigade has started a probe on possible reasons of the mishap.