Iswar Meher, a perfectionist of Sambalpuri Handloom

It took him three months to design and weave a Sambalpuri saree which he named ‘Brukshya Debata’ utilising natural colours. The intricately designed saree speaks about the importance of trees in maintaining ecological balance.

Apart from the design of different varieties of trees, Lord Brahma, Lord Bishnu and Lord Shiva have been portrayed meditating under the trees of banyan, peepal and rudrakshya respectively on the saree. And the saree with natural colours of black and brown has fetched him `1.2 lakh. The saree has been weaved by 53-year-old master craftsman Iswar Meher of Katapali village, 8 km from Bargarh town. He is known for his craftsmanship of Sambalpuri saree and registered as a master weaver under Sambalpuri Bastralaya Handloom Cooperative Society Limited.

Iswar is a perfectionist in Bandha Kala (tie and dye), which is core to Sambalpuri handloom products. This has helped him carve a niche in designing and weaving sarees and dress materials. Having dropped out after Class-III, Iswar learnt the nuances of weaving at an early age from his paternal uncle Kunja Bihari Meher and started weaving independently at the age of 12. He has created a number of designs using both traditional and theme-based motifs and recreated them successfully on yarn.

“I have produced more than 2,500 saree designs in Sambalpuri Ikat besides many designs for dress materials. Of the 2,500 saree designs, around 300 are intricately designed,” he says.“I have designed many sarees based on different plants and trees. ‘Brukshya Debata’ based on trees is one of my best creations,” he says. The price of sarees woven by Iswar ranges from Rs 10,000 to Rs 1.2 lakh.

Iswar won the national award instituted by Ministry of Textiles in 2006 for his craftsmanship in making ‘Bahana Cotton Saree’. The design of the saree is based on different ‘Bahana’ (animal vehicle) of Hindu God and Goddesses.

Prior to this, he had received the ‘Best Weaver of the Year-2005’ by Sambalpuri Bastralaya.
Iswar has also provided guidance to 1,040 semi-skilled weavers and honed their weaving skills to help them economically. At present, he is busy creating another masterpiece saree ‘Subhra Bastra’, which is based on sloka pertaining to Goddess Saraswati, to enable him to apply for the prestigious Sant Kabir award.

Life imprisonment for killing DGM of Paomex Steels Ltd

District and Session Judge of Sambalpur gave life imprisonment to Kumar Bag in the charge of killing of DGM of a private company Paomex Steel at Titilagarh. 15 peoples are acquitted for lack of evidence.

According to the prosecution on March 3, 2011 the disgruntled labourers set fire to the vehicle of the Paomex Steels Ltd DGM Radheshyam Ray while he was on his way home for lunch.

The DGM managed to come out of the vehicle but he was first rushed to Balangir Hospital in a critical condition. He was then shifted to the then VSS Medical College and Hospital where he succumbed to the injuries.

The labourers were protesting against the reduction in wages and depriving other benefits to the workers under the Labour law.

The Titlagarh Police arrested a large number of workers for their alleged involvement in the case and framed charge sheet against 52 workers of the company.

On the request of the Paomex Steels, the Supreme Court directed for trial of the case in Sambalpur court instead of Balangir for safety point of view and directed to complete the trial of the case by June 2018.

Wife killed in Sambalpur family court premises

A young man hacked to death his estranged wife and injured his mother-in-law and his sister-in-law’s three-year-old daughter with a sword on the premises of the family court here on Monday.

The accused, Ramesh Kumbhar, 24, a resident of Sindurpank village in the district’s Maneswar block, tried to escape but was overpowered by people and lawyers. He was handed over to police.

The incident took place around 9.30am in the waiting room of the court where the family of Sangita Choudhury, 19, the estranged wife of Ramesh, was waiting to be called for counselling.

However, Sangita’s father Sudhan Choudhury, an owner of a small roadside eatery, was loitering in the court’s verandah when he saw Ramesh launch a murderous attack on his family. Panicked, he ran for safety and rushed to the nearby tehsil office.

While Sangita, who was stabbed by Ramesh in the stomach, was declared brought dead at the district headquarters hospital, her mother Lalita Choudhury, 50, suffered injuries on her neck and her three-year-old niece Sibani was wounded in the hand.

Both the injured were first taken to the district headquarters hospital, Sambalpur, and from there to Veer Surendra Sai Institute of Medical Science and Research (Vimsar) in Burla, where doctors stated their condition to be stable.

Sources said Ramesh, a driver by profession, had an affair with Sangita, who also hailed from his village. Though both the families were against their marriage, the duo eloped and tied the nuptial knot about two years ago.

After staying with Ramesh for five months, Sangita, whose family originally hails from Samastipur in Bihar, developed differences with him and preferred to stay at her father’s house.

The couple had been living separately for some time. As her parents did not accept the marriage and she did not return to Ramesh’s house, the latter filed a case in the family court for reconciliation. In between, Sangita’s parents had arranged her marriage with a Samastipur boy, a move that irked Ramesh.

Sangita’s parents on Monday came to the court for counselling on the orders of the court where the incident took place.

The police said it was a planned attack and Ramesh had come with a sword.

The police have seized the sword, said Town police station inspector-in-charge Pradeep Sahu.

Advocate Nilima Panda, who was witness to the incident, said the attack was sudden and took everyone by surprise. No one apprehended that such an incident could take place on the court premises, Panda said.

Wife Killed, Two Others Injured By Husband

Hard core Maoist leader surrenders before Sambalpur police

Kanhu Dehurio, a top cadre Maoist leader and zonal secretary for Sambalpur-Deogarh-Sundargarh(SDS) division on Friday surrendered before Sambalpur police.
“Kunu was the zonal secretary for the SDS (Sambalpur-Deogarh-Sundargarh) division and was engaging youths in Maoists activities. But being disgusted with the attitude of the senior Red rebel leaders he decided to surrender before the police,” Sambalpur Superintendent of police Sanjeev Arora told newsmen here.

Mr Arora said Kanhu belonged to Naktideul-Jujomura area of the district where the first Maoists activities began in this region as an outcome of resentment against the Jujomura police.

The SP said as many as 51 cases of grievous nature are pending against Kunu and he was carrying a . cash reward of Rs. 8.00 lakh on his head . The surrendered Red rebel was one of the most wanted Maoist of the state having networks in neighbouring states too,” he added The Maoist leader said he realized that the Maoists have no ideology now and are involved in extorting money from the industrialists and businessmen.

He said while the senior Maoist leaders and enjoying life other people in the group are suffering in the dense forest at the cost of their lives.The lady cadres are also being sexually exploited. “.

Mr Arora said the case of Kunu Dehuri would be placed before the rehabilitation security committee of the state and a report would be prepared so that he could be resettled as per the provisions of the government.

“At the same time he will remain under police custody instead of judicial custody as per the surrender guideline,” the SP said “With arrest of top cadre, Maoists activities in the zone received a big jolt and and the Maoists activities in the region will also suffer to a great extent It needs mention that Kunu Dehuri and Gobardhan Budek were two hard core Maoists of the district.

While Kunu surrendered on Friday, Gobardhan is believed to have left the organization and living outside of Odisha.

Director General of Police (DGP) R P Sharma said Dehuri was spearheading the Maoist activities in Sambalpur,Deogarh and Sundargarh districts besides adjoining areas of Rourkela and Angul districts.

He said the surrender of Dehuri is a major achievement of the Odisha Police adding that the Maoist activity in the SDS area would bound to be weakened. The police, the DGP had been tracking his movement for quite some time in SDS Division and he surrendered before the police as he had lost faith in the Maoist ideologies.

Women hit streets for drinking water in Bargarh

Carrying buckets and containers, hundreds of women in Bargarh Municipality and block areas took out a ‘Pani Padayatra’ demanding clean and safe drinking water on Monday. Displaying samples of unclean water, the women demanded that all water bodies in the area should be restored and revived to maintain the groundwater level. Besides, an anicut should be constructed across Jeera river, they said. The town is reeling under acute water scarcity as piped water is yet to reach all the places. The women folk depend on a few functioning tube-wells in the area.

The agitating women said residents of Ward 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the Municipality are completely dependent on a pit dug on the bed of Jeera river which flows along Bargarh town. Gulapi Suna of Ward 11 said the water from tube-wells in the area is unfit for human consumption and is reddish in colour. Similarly, residents of Ward 5 and 6 claimed that they are being forced to dig tube-wells for drinking water. The district administration should take immediate steps to provide drinking water to the residents soon. If the demand is not met, they will intensify their stir, the women threatened.

It is noted that, last month in speech, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan asked Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to provide safe water and take steps for mitigating the problem of contaminated water faced by residents of Bargarh and adjoining areas.