Friday, April 18, 2014

NHRC asks report from Odisha Chief Secy on child labour status

BHUBANESWAR: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has asked the Chief Secretary of the State to submit a report within eight weeks to the complainant on status of child labour in the State.  

Notably, Human Rights Watch (HRW) secretary Sangita Swain of Angul had filed a complaint on February 11 this year about number of child labours in the State. She had said in the complaint that exact figure of child labours is not available with the State Labour Department. The department was showing a 15-year old survey report for which around four lakh child labour came to the labour line after incompletion of their education and it violets the right to education, she added.

Swain said the State is yet to implement the policy report provided by special rapporteur Dr Lakhmidhar Mishra of the NHRC in 2007 to abolish the child labour in the State. She urged the Commission to take emergent steps to implement the labour policy and to take departmental or disciplinary action against the concerned public authority after compensating the child labour.

Irate mob block road after poll official’s death in Mayurbhanj

BARIPADA: Irate villagers of Karanjia area in Mayurbhanj district on Friday blocked the Mumbai-Kolkata National Highway number 6 protesting the death of a peon of the local High School who was on polling duty. 

The locals of Dari village under Karanjia block in the district blocked the NH with the deceased peon’s body placed on the road. They demanded the State Government to provide proper compensation to the family members of the peon.

No party to get majority in Odisha: Pyarimohan Mohapatra

--Pyarimohan predicts BJD to get 60 to 65 seats   
Photo by Arabinda Mohapatra

BHUBANESWAR: Following the end of the first and second phase polls, calculation for winnability of seats has been started by the political analysts and senior leaders of different political parties in the State.

Odisha Jan Morcha (OJM) president and a soothsayer of politics Pyarimohan Mohapatra, who had predicted a vast majority for the BJD to form Government in 2009 and sure win for the BJD in Umerkote by-election, claimed that no party in the State could get majority to form Government.

Mohapatra said the BJD would get hardly 60 to 65 seats, while main opposition Congress would get only 35 to 40 seats in the recently ended General Election. He also predicted that the national party BJP would get only 25 to 30 seats, while the others will get rest of the seats in the polls.

“BJD’s claim to get vast majority cannot see the light of the day. The State will see a different equation while formation of the Government,” said Mohapatra.

The State BJP, which is aspiring for an overwhelming result in the elections, pooh poohed the claim of the BJD to form the Government with a vast majority. While contacted BJP’s former president Suresh Pujari said they will surprise their opponents. “Just wait, let the result come. Naveen Patnaik will be more surprised after getting the election result,” said Pujari.

The Congress heavyweights like PCC State president Jayadev Jena and party’s campaign committee chief Srikant Jena claimed that they have done very good job in the elections and have received overwhelming support from the people.

On the other hand, former PCC president Niranjan Patnaik said the people were in the favour of a positive change in the State, but the oppositions like the Congress and the BJP could not come up with a great force to steal the show which was expected before.

Though the BJD has been claiming that they would form the Government, the recent prediction of a hung Assembly may create tension for the party. Meanwhile, party vice-president Kalpataru Das refused to buy the hung Assembly story.  

Thursday, April 17, 2014

BJP to steal show in phase-II polls: KV Singh Deo

BHUBANESWAR: “Like the first phase polls held on April 10 in the State, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) would steal the show in the second phase polls in the State,” claimed BJP State president KV Singh Deo here on Thursday.

Singh Deo said high turnout of voters showed that people want change and it would help his party to come with flying colour. He demanded that the Modi wave attracted the voters to exercise their franchises in favour of ‘Lotus’.

The BJP State chief thanked the voters for participating in a large numbers in the polls. “Result of the polling will be a shock for BJD and Congress,” he added.     


Kudos to NHRC! 8 ostracised dalits able to cast votes

BHUBANESWAR: In order to ensure safety and security of eight voters of three ostracised dalit bonded labour families in Puri district, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Wednesday evening issued a direction to the State Home Department in this regard which was implemented within one hour.

Due to the NHRC’s immediate response, members of the families headed by Surendra Sethi, Maguni Sethi and Hina Sethi of Birakesharipur under Kanas block in the district, who were ostracised by the villagers a few months ago, could able to cast their votes on Thursday without fear as a team of special police force escorted them till their return from the polling booth.

According to reports, human rights activist Baghambar Pattanaik on Wednesday evening filed a complaint with the NHRC after the family members expressed their interest to cast votes. The NHRC immediately registered a case and directed the Special Secretary of the Home Department to take necessary steps in the matter.

The Home Department immediately instructed Puri SP Anup Kumar Sahoo who immediately contacted with the Gadishagoda police station IIC Tapan Das to contact the ousted families. All the process from filing the complaint with NHRC by the activist to contact with the victims by the IIC was completed within one hour on Wednesday. As a result, a team of Special Police Force led by the local IIC escorted the family members to their polling booth at Birakesharipur where they exercised their franchise and again returned to the street with that police team.

This time also Capital records poor turnout of 40%

CM Naveen Patnaik casting vote
BHUBANESWAR: Despite all attempts to sensitise voters to exercise their franchises in large numbers, the capital city recorded poor turnout of 40 per cent. Even city’s turnout of 48 per cent in 2009 twin elections was quite higher than the turnout of this time.

It was seen that the capital city had witnessed low turnout of less than 50 per cent in the elections to the Urban Local Body (ULB), Assembly and Lok Sabha. Keeping in view, the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) had taken up several awareness drives to make the voters aware about their voting rights so that the turnout will increase, but it could not motivate the educated voters of the city to come out of their houses.

Like other elections, the Assembly and Lok Sabha polls experienced a poor show. The BMC had organised awareness drive such as ‘Runs for Democracy’ and also set up 60 model polling stations to attract the voters to the booths, but nothing helped to improve the poor record.

According to sources, some of the voters were not happy with change in polling booths and other problems regarding voters’ list. In Chandrasekharpur in the city, some voters returned from the polling booths without casting their votes due to changes in booths.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

11 bombs seized in Jajpur

JAJPUR: A day before the polls, the Sukinda police on Wednesday evening seized 11 live bombs from a dilapidated storehouse at Jamupasi village under the Sukinda police station limits in Jajpur district.

Police are investigating the case after seizing the live bombs from the spot. Search operations have been intensified in the areas to recover arms or ammunitions if any left behind. 

Earlier, bombs were hurled at a BJD campaigning vehicle on Tuesday night at Ambasara village. As a result of which Sukinda block vice-chairman and BJD leader Bibeka Bose along with four other BJD cadres had sustained serious injuries following the bomb attack. The police arrested two persons in connection with the incident, said Sukinda IIC Sujit Pradhan.