Odisha law minister to meet lawyers on stir today

A solution to lawyers’ agitation in western Odisha seemed imminent on Saturday after law minister Maheswar Mohanty on Friday invited them for a discussion. The agitating lawyers are demanding a high court bench in western parts of the state.

The minister in a letter requested the Central Action Committee (CAC), spearheading the protest, to have a talk at 5 pm at secretariat on February 9, convener of the CAC Ashok Dash told the media.

“We convened a meeting on Saturday to discuss the matter. It was unanimously decided that we would take part in the discussion. Till then, we will stage a 24-hour relay hunger strike,” Dash said.

Dash has been on an indefinite hunger strike in front of Sambalpur RDC office since Wednesday along with four other senior members of the CAC. A 13-member team will go to Bhubaneswar on Sunday morning to meet the minister, he said.

“Our future course of action will be decided only on Monday after our delegation comes back from Bhubaneswar,” senior lawyer Pradeep Bohidar said.

Common men faced difficulties as even ATM counters of several banks remained closed owing to the agitation. Both RDC (northern division) Pramod Meherda and collector (Sambalpur) Balawant Singh have already requested the lawyers to call off the agitation in the interest of public.

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