Tag Archives: Western Odisha

Bargarh farmers stage blockade for better deal

A Day after farmers from Western Odisha staged a demonstration in front of the office of RDC (North) at Sambalpur protesting indifferent attitude of the State Government, hundreds of farmers from Bargarh block under the banner of Bargarh Anchalika Chasi Sangathan blocked the NH-6 at Chakarkend for four hours on Friday demanding a better deal from the Government.

They also submitted a memorandum to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik through Bargarh Tehsildar Jyoti Prakash Mohapatra over their long-pending demands. The blockade was called off after Mohapatra assured the protestors to take up their demands with the authorities concerned.

The road blockade brought traffic on the busy NH connecting Kolkata and Mumbai to a grinding halt while commercial and heavy vehicles were stranded on either side of the blockade. Movement of traffic between Bargarh and Sohela was also affected.

In the memorandum, farmers claimed that they are yet to get insurance amount against crop loss of last kharif season despite paying premium. Similarly, the State Government is yet to disburse the drought assistance of `100 per quintal of paddy as declared by the Chief Minister, they said.

Admitting that the farmers of the block have received the promised input subsidy, they said there is no sight of crop bonus yet. Although a survey was undertaken to assess the loss jointly by Agriculture, Co-operative and Revenue departments, they are yet to get their insurance against crop loss, the farmers alleged.

Apprehending a repeat situation with scanty rainfall reported in the district, they requested the Chief Minister to expedite payment of insurance and identify drought-hit areas to facilitate payment of financial assistance to farmers. Terming the demands as ‘genuine’, they have urged the State Government to take immediate steps to save farmers and farming.

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.

Two places for IIM in Western Odisha, State Govt.

With the increasing demand to set up IIM in Western Odisha, the State Govt. recommended two places in sambalpur to the Center
for setting up the permanent campus of the proposed educational institution based on a report of Sambalpur Collector.

The two sites are in Dhankouda and Jujumura blocks of the district. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had written to the Centre on March 2 for setting up IIM at Sambalpur in response to Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani’s letter seeking opinion of the State Government for establishment of the institute in Western Odisha.

In the letter, the Chief Minister had said if the Centre is willing to relax guidelines for site selection, the State Government would strongly recommend Sambalpur as the location of the IIM.

Earlier, the HRD Ministry, as per its guideline, had asked the State Government to identify locations for the IIM close to an airport. The State Government had restricted its choice to places in  and around Bhubaneswar while making recommendations.

The State Government had recommended two places on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar for establishment of the IIM. The site selection committee of the HRD Ministry had also visited the two sites and recommended its findings.  It remains to be seen whether the Centre relaxes its guidelines for setting up the premier educational institution in view of the fresh recommendation made by the State Government.

Maoists Trying to Reorganise: SP

Maoists are trying to re-organise and regain their lost ground in the district, said Sambalpur SP Prateek Mohanty on Thursday.

Briefing mediapersons about the exchange of fire that took place on Wednesday, Mohanty said there were 30 to 35 Maoists in the group including eight to 10 female cadres.

The exchange of fire took place in Landakot reserve forest under Rairakhol police limits of the district and police had specific information about their movement.

The SP said the Maoists opened fire first and police retaliated in which 130 rounds of bullets were fired and grenades used. As the exchange of fire could have left some Maoists injured, a joint operation by police and CRPF was underway to trace the injured.  He added that all the cadres were armed with weapons like AK, INSAS and SLR.

The seizure included garments, utensils, medicines, uniforms, Maoist literature, groceries, ammunition bags besides other items.

seizure list

Sources said Maoists are trying to push hard their plan of developing a corridor which would unite the banned Left ultras from Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh.

The movement is believed to be a part of the plan. According to reports, Maoists have set aside Sundargarh district from their original Sundargarh-Deogarh-Sambalpur Divisional Committee and included Sonepur district. Hadrcore Maoist leader and secretary of Dakshin Chhotanagpur Zonal Committee Samarji alias Anmol Hembram is believed to be coordinating the activities.

Maoists from across the border on both sides are planning to make Gandhamardan hill range in Bargarh district a hopping point before converging in Sunabeda wildlife sanctuary in Nuapada district.

They are planning to replicate their model of guerilla warfare and training camp in Sunabeda with security forces out against them in Saranda forest in Jharkhand bordering Odisha.

Ensure Smooth Functioning of Courts, Offices in W Odisha: HC

In what would come as a major relief to the people of Western Odisha, the Orissa High Court on Wednesday directed the State Chief Secretary and the Director- General of Police to ensure smooth functioning of courts and offices in the region.

The full bench of the court comprising Justice P Mohanty, Justice I Mohanty and Justice S C Parija instructed the State to see to it that the general public, litigants and employees do not face any obstruction in entering and exiting the courts and offices.

As per the earlier orders of the court, the State counsel, on the basis of reports received from the Collectors of the Western Odisha districts, submitted that courts in  different parts of the regions were functioning but work was affected due to the continuing strike by lawyers. The bench has sought further reports from the district judges of 11 districts on the functioning of courts in their jurisdiction by the first week of April. Acting on a petition filed by one Saroj Kumar Padhy and a letter from the District and Sessions Judge, Sambalpur, the court had also initiated contempt proceedings through Registrar (Judicial) and directed the Registrar Administration to submit a status report on the court strikes in Western Odisha.

The petitioner had prayed for declaration of the bandh and strikes across the State illegal as they posed serious problems to the general public. Pensioners were not able to receive their pensions while students faced severe hardships in getting different documents from the offices.

The daily wage earners were not able to manage a square meal as there was no work for them. People were also being deprived of medical services on account of the strike.

He alleged that the State Government had not taken any action to prevent the illegal activities that violated every Rights enshrined under the Constitution.