Monthly Archives: April 2012

Judgment in doctor’s murder deferred

A fast track court here on Monday deferred judgment in the Dr Brahmananda Panda murder case till May 9. “The court postponed pronouncing its verdict as lawyers struck work expressing solidarity with their counterparts in Sambalpur,” defence counsel Sirsendu Prasad Rout said.

The 60-year-old doctor was hacked to death at his nursing home-cum-residence in Kharavel Nagar on July 27, 2010. The court has examined 25 witnesses during the trial. Dr Panda’s ex-sweeper Hari alias Harendra Naik is the accused. According to the prosecution, Naik had harboured a grudge against Dr Panda after the latter sacked him from service for allegedly entering into a relationship with a woman employee.

On the fateful night, the accused reportedly drunk was waiting inside Panda’s house. When Panda returned home, Hari allegedly pounced upon him and hacked him five to six times. Dr Panda died immediately. Dr Panda had been practising in the Capital for the last three decades. He had started a small clinic at Kalpana Square in the early 80s and then shifted to his own four-storey building in 1992.

Lawyers stir on against Sambalpur incident

Lawyers in Cuttack continued their ceasework even as those in Bhubaneswar joined them on Monday to express solidarity with their counterparts in Sambalpur in the wake of the collector-lawyers standoff on April 23.

Two separate fact-finding teams of advocates from Bhubaneswar and Cuttack left for Sambalpur to assess the situation. “A fact-finding committee of the high court bar association has gone to Sambalpur to investigate into incident. The team will return on Tuesday and submit its report. We will decide our future course of action after that,” said Piyush Mishra, secretary of high court bar association.

Bhubaneswar Bar Association secretary Chittaranjan Barisal said a five-member team of the Bar from the city had also left for Sambalpur. “Police action against the lawyers in Sambalpur was one-sided. Police arrested them without proper investigation while it took no action on the FIR filed by them against the Sambalpur collector. Our team will examine all aspects in Sambalpur on Tuesday,” Barisal said.

Lawyers of the HC, criminal court, tax court and other lower courts in Cuttack have been boycotting court proceedings since Friday, affecting judicial services across the state. The HC bar has been demanding immediate withdrawal of cases against Sambalpur lawyers and a judicial inquiry into the April 23 incident.

Coinciding with the visit of State Commission for Women chairperson Jyoti Panigrahi to Sambalpur, woman lawyers there demonstrated in front of the inspector general of police office demanding the arrest of collector Mrinalini Darswal.

Panigrahi said she would strive for an amicable solution to the current impasse. “I am hopeful for an early solution,” she said after meeting collector Mrinalini Darswal and the lawyers separately.

Sambalpur Collector-Lawyers scuffle: Bar Associations call for western Odisha bandh on May 8

Sambalpur Collector-Lawyers scuffleWestern Odisha Bar Associations  called for a western Odisha bandh on May 8 demanding arrest and transfer of Sambalpur collector Mrinalini Darswal for her alleged highhandedness.

The central action committee of the associations also demanded judicial inquiry into the confrontation between the collector and lawyers, which took place on April 23.

There was a conflict between the collector and the lawyers, in which the district collector was allegedly manhandled by the lawyers on April 23. Her residential office was also ransacked in the incident. The collector had lodged a complaint in this incident.
The lawyers had also lodged a complaint and alleged that the collector had used abusive language against the lawyers  fraternity.Police had arrested 18 lawyers in this incident.

On the other hand, government employees, who had resorted to cease work after the attack of the collector, have resumed their duty. The government employees have joined the duty wearing black badges.

Maoists eye Sonepur

With security forces intensifying combing operation in Kandhamal district, armed Maoists have reportedly entered Sonepur through Boudh creating panic among the people.

Reports said 40 to 50 armed cadres, including women, visited Jharbahali-Pipalkanta village near Mankadbahal under Chadeipank gram panchayat and held a meeting on Sunday, their second over last two days.

The Maoists inquired about their welfare and problems and asked them to fight for their legitimate rights.

The Maoists reportedly had held two woodcutters captive for more than five hours and questioned them about PRI members and routes to Sambalpur. They also took away SIMs from their mobiles.

It is learnt that they are also fanning out to nearby villages and simultaneously interacting with people before converging at a point.

Reports of Maoists’ movement have also been received from Ranisarda forest near Menda village and meetings are slated to be held here late on Sunday.

As the district provides them gateway to Kandhamal via Boudh besides Sambalpur, Balangir, Nuapada and Kalahandi to down south, the Maoists are believed to have decided on spreading their wings in the district which had remained out of their bounds till now.

Confirmed sources said, the inability of the Maoists to expand their base beyond Sambalpur has forced them to rejig their strategy. And under the new strategy, they made their presence felt in Mayurbhanj before moving to Sonepur.

The Maoists have found Birmaharajpur sub-division with good green cover and deprived of basic amenities, a soft target.

Anti-Jual faction boycotts meet

That all is not well in the State BJP became more pronounced on Sunday with the rebels boycotting the State Executive Committee meeting.

All the seven legislators of the party, including Independent MLA Pratap Sarangi, senior leaders and former ministers Bijay Mohapatra, Manmohan Samal, Samir Dey, Dilip Ray, Surama Padhi and several State functionaries, including vice-presidents Golak Mohapatra and Gayatri Dash, were conspicuous by their absence.

By boycotting the meeting, the group, opposed to State president Jual Oram, sent a clear message to the central leadership that they are serious in their demand for a change of guard.? The 10-member team of the party, which recently met BJP national president Nitin Gadkari, had reportedly requested for a leadership change in the State to save the party from further blushes. Three sitting MLAs of the party __ KV Singhdeo, Jayanayaran Mishra and Pratap Sarangi __ were part of the delegation.

Singhdeo told this paper from Delhi that he had arrived in the national capital from Jaipur on Sunday after attending a marriage function on Saturday. He, however, could not intimate the party president about his non-availability due to his preoccupation, sources in the BJP said.

“I have no idea about the State Executive Committee meeting as I am not informed,” said Jayanarayan from Sambalpur. A former minister in the Naveen Patnaik Government, Jayanarayan said the party did not give any importance to elected representatives. The party gives more weightage to those leaders, who have repeatedly failed in Assembly elections, he remarked.? Admitting that the boycott was planned, a senior member of the party on the condition of anonymity said there was no point in attending party meetings where nothing substantial is discussed. Accusing Oram of? promoting factionalism, the sources said he had miserably failed to give a direction to the party which had elected him overwhelmingly.

Referring to the Delhi visit of the rebels, Oram in his presidential speech said his term would end in six months. Those, who are opposed to his leadership, will get the opportunity to elect a leader of their choice during the next party election due in November-December, he said.

Some supporters of Oram reportedly criticised the rebels for trying to infuse the Congress culture in the BJP. They urged the national leadership to take action against the leaders trying to demoralise the cadres by promoting factionalism. BJP national secretary Balbir Punj and MP and Odisha-in-charge Santosh Gangwar attended the meeting.