Tag Archives: Western Odisha

Lawyers Call for Western Odisha Bandh Today

The Central Action Committee (CAC) of All Western Odisha Bar Association (AWOBA) has decided to go ahead with their Western Odisha bandh call on Wednesday with the State Government remaining silent over their demand.

They have been demanding a complete and comprehensive proposal to the Central Government over setting up of High Court Bench in the region by February 18.

CAC secretary Niranjan Tripathy said the State Government has not yet acted on the demand. “As we had given an ultimatum, we will go ahead with the bandh call,” he said.

Essential services will not be hampered though. Similarly, students will be allowed to reach their schools and colleges to appear for examinations and marriage ceremonies allowed to be solemnised.

The Sambalpur District Bar Association (SDBA) has also urged all political  parties to join the bandh call.

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.

West Odisha ryots seek pro-farmer policy

Thousands of farmers under the banner of Sambalpur Zilla Krushak Surakhya Sangathan turned up at the ‘Chetawani Samabesh’ here in protest against State Government’s indifference towards them on Wednesday.

They came in a rally to the Town Hall ground where a public meeting was held. The farmers accused the Government of taking them for a ride.

Urging the Government to hike the minimum support price (MSP) and declare bonus on paddy, they said handing over mobile phones when farmers were committing suicide was meaningless and would not help them in any way.

Maintaining that the hike of MSP to `1310 per quintal was too little and too late, they demanded that the Government should compensate the farmers by declaring bonus of `300 per quintal of paddy.

They also demanded uniform law on procurement process across the State, preventing procurement agencies devoid of infrastructure and funds from procurement, assuring minimum return to farmers by setting up a farmers’ commission, social security coverage for farmers and change in relief code.

The farmers also vented their ire against Hindalco for its failure in finding a permanent solution to crop loss in the villages located in the periphery of its smelter plant at Hirakud due to fluoride emission. Giving an ultimatum of two weeks to the district administration to resolve the issue, they warned that they would paralyse Hindalco if the issue is not sorted out within the specified time.

Convenor of Paschim Odisha Krushak Sangathan Samanwaya Samiti (POKSSS) Ashok Pradhan said similar protests were held in Bargarh, Jharsuguda, Deogarh, Balangir and Boudh districts on Wednesday. He added that if the State Government fails to take any measures, they would hold a similar ‘Samabesh’ in Bhubaneswar.

Sambalpur University puts off convocation for lawyers’ strike

Sambalpur University has postponed its convocation scheduled to be held on September 25 till further notice.

“Due to unavoidable circumstances, the 26th Convocation of Sambalpur University scheduled to be held on September 25, 2013, is postponed until further notification. The inconvenience caused is highly regretted,” PRO and political science lecturer Rajat Kujur said on Saturday. He said the vice-chancellor had received a communication from the chancellor’s office asking the former to postpone the annual event.

Sources in the university said the decision was taken in view of the lawyer’s strike in western Odisha. In a related development, the students’ association of Gangadhar Meher College is planning to boycott the coming students’ election supporting the lawyers’ agitation.

Nuakhai Celebration in Western Odisha

Yesterday, Nuakhai was celebrated with gaiety and religious fervour and today the day after the Nuakhai is the BASI of Nuakhai.

The Navanna (newly harvested rice) was offered to Goddess Samaleswari, the presiding deity of Sambalpur, at the stipulated lagna (auspicious moment) between 10.18 am and 10.32 am. During this period, families also offered the Navanna to their respective Istadevata (presiding deity) and Goddess Laxmi (Goddess of Wealth) as a mark of gratitude for a bumper harvest, good rain and a favourable weather.

While it was Goddess Samaleswari in Sambalpur, it was Patneswari in Balangir, Sureshwari in Sonepur, Sekharbasini in Sundargarh and Manikeswari in Kalahandi who were worshipped.

Being an agrarian festival, the eldest in each household in rural pockets worshipped their paddy fields and cattle.

Womenfolk woke up early in the morning to perform Nuakhai rituals that began with decorating the house with jhoti. The later half of the day was spent in the kitchen preparing special delicacies. During the festival, various traditional dishes and pancakes are prepared, including Mug Bara, Ras Bara, Mug Manda, Suji Manda, Chaul Manda, Kakra Pitha, Kheeri besides preparations from Saru Patra (leaves of taro plant), Makhan Sag (leaves of pumpkin creeper) and Kardi (bamboo shoots).

While children in colourful attire enjoyed their holiday to the fullest, devotees across the region thronged Samaleswari temple. Later in the evening, ‘Nuakhia Bhetghat’ were organised by different socio-cultural organisations and greetings were exchanged among the denizens.