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Odisha HC disqualifying Sundargarh legislator Jogesh Singh

Senior Congress leader Narasingha Mishra

Senior Congress leader Narasingha Mishra

Odisha HC disqualifying Sundargarh legislator Jogesh Singh for submitting fake caste certificate in the nomination of 2014 Assembly Elections.

“Now Congress party has lost the Opposition status in Odisha”, stated by Senior Congress leader Narasingha Mishra today

“For the Opposition party tag, a political party needs one tenth of total seats of the House. As per the rule, Congress needs 15 members become the Opposition party. However, after disqualification of Jogesh Singh Congress’ strength has has come down to 14,” Mishra stated.

MLA Jogesh Singh

MLA Jogesh Singh

He further said, “The State government has to take the final decision whether they want a Leader of Opposition post or not.”

The High Court disqualified Jogesh Singh while hearing petitions filed by BJP candidate Sahadev Xaxa and another voter Ajay Patel who alleged that Singh submitted false and fabricated caste certificate categorizing himself as ‘Bhuyan’ tribe.

 

 

HC Disqualifies Congress MLA Jogesh Singh

Dawn-to-dusk shutdown in Odisha after Kunduli gang rape victim commits suicide

Dawn-to-dusk shutdown in Odisha after Kunduli gang rape victim commits suicideNormal life was hit across Odisha today due to a dawn-to-dusk shutdown called separately by the Congress and the BJP to seek justice for a 14-year-old tribal girl who committed suicide after alleging rape by four men in uniform three months ago.

Shops, business establishments, markets, offices, banks and financial institutions remained shut, while vehicular movement came to a grinding halt across the state during the shutdown, police said.

Many trains were stopped at different places including Bhubaneswar, Sambalpur, and Bhadrak as strike supporters staged rail roko leaving a large number of passengers stranded.

Roads wore a deserted look all over and buses also stayed off roads fearing violence.

Schools and colleges across the state remained closed for the safety of students, while examinations scheduled for the day would be shifted to a suitable date, officials said.

 

The impact of the bandh was also felt in Cuttack, Puri, Berhampur, Sambalpur, Balasore, Bhadrak, Rourkela, Sundargarh, Jharsuguda, Bargarh, Jagatsinghpur, Jajpur, Kendrapara and Koraput.

After the tribal girl ended her life on Monday, Congress called for dawn-to-dusk state-wide bandh, while BJP is observing a 12-hour strike from 6 am demanding a CBI probe into the whole episode and action against culprits.

Congress also demanded the resignation of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on the moral ground following the suicide of the girl.

Senior BJP leaders including Surama Padhi and Pratap Sarangi also blamed the chief minister for the tragedy and said the stir over the issue would be intensified.

Maoist situation remains challeging: Chief Minister

Maoist situation remains challenging in eight major districts of the state, how ever there has been a substantial improvement in the situation in other districts.

In a written reply to Congress member Naba Kishore Das in the Assembly today, Patnaik named the eight districts as Malkangiri, Koraput, Kalahandi, Kandhamal, Rayagada, Bolangir, Bargarh and Angul.

The chief minister told the Assembly that as many as 13 districts were hit by the LWE violence since 2007 which included Malkangiri, Rayagada, Koraput, Nabarangpur, Gajapati, Kandhamal, Mayurbhanj, Sambalpur, Deogarh, Keonjhar, Sundergarh, Jajpur and Dhenkanal.

However, Patnaik said the LWE situation in Gajapati, Keonjhar, Mayurbhanj, Sambalpur, Nuapada, Bodh, Nayagarh, Deogarh and Sundergarh was under control.

He said there has been no incidents of Maoist violence reported from Jajpur, Dhenkanal, Nabarangpur and Ganjam districts so far.

Patnaik, while making a statement in the Assembly on December 8, had said there was substantial improvement in the LWE scenario in the state.

“Improvement of police infrastructure, recruitment of armed personnel, specialised training and a progressive policy of surrender and rehabilitation have led to substantial improvement in the situation,” Patnaik had said.

The state has, meanwhile, requested the Centre to send additional central forces to be deployed in areas prone to Maoist violence.

Water Rights activist Ranjan Panda faults Odisha Govt for suppplying water from Hirakud Reservoir to Industries

Water Rights activist Ranjan Panda faults Odisha Govt for supplying water from Hirakud Reservoir is toIndustries. The way they have shut down the power plant while continuing to supply water to industries is illegal, alleges Ranjan Panda, Convenor of Water Initiatives Odisha.

“Hirakud dam was originally constructed for flood control. Irrigation and power generation were incidental benefits. Providing water to industries at cost of power generation is a clear cut indication of the government’s vested tilt towards the industries”, Panda alleged further.

It is to be noted that, the dam’s power generation capacity has been drastically reduced by deliberate design, more so recently because of the favouritism towards industries. And on 17th June this year, when the dam authorities stopped releasing water for power generation, illegally, they created a history. For the first time in history of the dam, the power plant was completely stopped showing shortage of water as the reason, even though the water had not reached the dead storage limit, alleged Panda.

The dam’s Dead Storage Level of 590 feet is a stage from where irrigation and power generation should be stopped. For industries, however, the dead limit is said to be 595 feet. But, while on 17th June the storage level was about 593.75, the power supply was stopped but industries continued to draw water.

Local newspaper reports confirm that the dam authorities did an act of ‘eye wash’ by stopping water to Hindalco Industries at Hirakud on 17th June. However, the plant activities resumed in a few hours only. It is reported by the newspapers that the dam authorities had to release water to Hindalco succumbing to pressure of the Secretary, Water Resources Department of Govt. of Odisha.

Other industries also continue to draw water even as Hirakud’s water is receding and no canals could be supplied water on the stipulated date of 16th. WIO condemns such illegal and anti-people, anti-farmer act of the Water Resources Department and asks them to immediately stop water supply to industries and ensure water to irrigation canals, said Panda.

Unless the water supply to industries is stopped, irrigation will drastically suffer and conflicts in the command area will grow, warned Panda.

A dry reservoir is not merely due to scanty rainfall but also because of interceptions of Mahanadi’s flow by Chhattisgarh upstream. And despite repeated urge of Water Initiatives Odisha, the governments are not yet talking properly on managing Mahanadi in an integrated basin management approach. “The governments are only talking as knee jerk measure to reduce flood devastations and not for comprehensive and coordinated management of the entire River”, alleged Panda, adding, “such temporary and half-hearted approaches would neither reduce flood vulnerabilities during rainy season nor will solve such water scarcity situations during non-monsoon periods”.

High time the governments went for a holistic management plan of Mahanadi that is people-centric, open and transparent. Further, the governments should now admit that Mahanadi is a ‘water deficit river’ and accordingly stop giving away precious water to industries beyond a limit drawn on basis of proper ecological balance analysis keeping both present and future scenario in mind, said Panda.

2 arrested in Rangamatia murder case

Two men were arrested for their alleged involvement in the September 28 murder of a youth of Rangamatia area in the city on Friday. The accused, Bikali Behera and Dipuna Barik, were rounded up in Sambalpur district by the special squad of commissionerate police. Three other co-accused are still on the run. “The absconders would be arrested soon,” said DCP (Bhubaneswar) Nitinjeet Singh.

The arrested duo along with three others of the same area hacked Ranjan Behera, secretary of a local youth club, to death due to previous enmity. The rival groups had picked up a brawl during Ganesh idol immersion ceremony on September 26, two days before the murder. The assailants attacked Behera with sharp-edged weapons when he was standing in front of his shop in Rangamatia. Behera was trading in construction material.

On Thursday, many residents, including Behera’s family and friends staged a demonstration in Rangamatia demanding immediate arrest of killers. Singh had visited the area and assured the locals to arrest the culprits within three days.