Sunday, July 12, 2015

Gopabandhu statue shifting in Puri: Cong slams Govt

BHUBANESWAR: A day after removal of the statue of Utkalmani Gopabandhu Das from the Singhadwar of the Shreemandir in Puri, Congress on Sunday criticised the State Government for disrespecting such a great freedom fighter of the State. 

Talking to mediapersons here, Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) president Prasad Harichandan said the statue, which was installed by Mahatma Gandhi on May 8, 1934, was removed by the administration without taking legal angles into account. 

Harichandan said the eviction team of the Puri Municipality demolished the memorial amid rain in the town before shifting the statue of Gopabandhu Das to an open roof top. By using a crane, the team shifted the statue wrapped up with a big gunny bag which was an insult to the people of the State who love the great son, he added. 

He said the way the evacuation team removed the statue like an unwanted material hurt the sentiments of people who love the Utkalmani. “It is heard that our Chief Minister was a student of History. But in which way the historical monument was demolished on Saturday it was a great insult to the history and historical monuments,” he said. 

Harichandan said the removal of the Statue would not only hurt the people of the State but also those who love Gopabandhu’s philosophy, living outside of the State.

Meanwhile, BJD spokesperson Pratap Jena said the Congress, which is criticising the State Government in the issue, never did a small effort to respect the Utkalmani in its 50 years of ruling. “Our Government has launched some welfare schemes in the name of Gopabandhu Das as a mark of our respect to the great soul,” he said.                  

BJP demands judicial probe into Keonjhar police-mob clash

BHUBANESWAR: The BJP on Sunday demanded judicial probe into the violent clash between the police and villagers of Belabahali in Keonjhar district over construction of a proposed bridge on the Kosei River.
Briefing mediapersons here, party’s State president KV Singh Deo said the State Government has created a fear psychosis in the village by deploying police personnel, disrupting power supply and arresting innocents to suppress the movement against construction of bridge at the wrong place. “Due to the police cordon, people are living with fear after the violence,” he added. 
Singh Deo said a 12-member delegation led by him had visited the village and discussed with them about various problems they face after the police-mob clash. The BJP leader alleged that the male police have forcefully arrested seven women with children below one year. Even the police have arrested the persons who meet their kin in the jail, he added.  
“As per the people’s design for bridge, this is 240 metre, at an angle of 60 degree, and will have minimum impact on the inhabitation downstream. However, the design proposed by the State Government includes 360 metre, is at an angle of 35 degree to the bank and will have maximum impact on habitation downstream as the torrential water will directly hit the bank,” said Singh Deo, adding, “The Government design also includes sand filling of over 1 km of river bed approaching the bridge, which is highly impracticable.”
Quoting the people’s ideas, Singh Deo said, the Government could save Rs 12 crore if it goes with the designs of villagers. “Why the State Government proposed a 360-metre long bridge on the river instead of going for a 240-metre long,” asked the BJP leader, adding, “Is it a plan to give huge profit to the contractor?”   
Singh Deo alleged that the arrest and other related issues were designed by the State Government under the active supervision of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. The same Chief Minister, who had protested the Land Acquisition Bill, arrested 113 villagers including 63 women in nighttime for opposing a anti-people decision, he observed.     
He said his party would give full support to the villagers and would take up the matter of the realignment of the bridge with the Shipping Ministry at the Centre. “If the people’s legitimate demands are not met, the party will resort to Padyatra from Belabahali to Bhubaneswar,” he said.    

AIPF holds first State meet in Bhubaneswar

--‘State suppresses voices by using force’

BHUBANESWAR: “Both the State and the Central Governments have started using innovative tricks to suppress voices of common men by using force,” said activists attending the All India People’s Forum’s (AIPF) first State meet ended here on Sunday.

Activists of different people’s organisations fighting for democratic and fundamental rights of the people in the State expressed grave concern over the anti-people attitude of the Governments.   

Social activist Prafulla Samantara said the State Government arrests the innocent tribals when they participate in popular agitations and protest against any injustice made by the administration. “When tribals fought for their land rights in Narayanpatna of Koraput district, the police arrested them by implicating in false and fabricated cases. Is it correct to suppress the democratic movements by using State forces,” he asked.       

CPI(ML) Liberation general secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya said the time has come for united fight against loot by the companies and communal forces in the country. “All people’s organisations should come forward to take up popular issues and fight against dictatorship of the Governments,” he said. 

Among others, CPI(ML) Liberation State secretary Khitish Biswal, former MP Braja Kishore Tripathy, Niyamgiri Suraksha Samiti leader Lingaraj Azad, journalist Rabi Das, Samadrusti editor Sudhir Patnaik, activist Tapan Padhi and more than hundred leaders of various organisations attended the meet.

Civil body demands CBI probe into Nabakalebara fiasco

-- To begin awareness campaign in State from July 14 

BHUBANESWAR: Shri Jagannath Sanskruti Suraksha Manch (SJSSM), a social organisation, on Saturday demanded CBI probe into the gross mismanagement by the State Government and the Shri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) during Nabakalebara festival. 

Manch conveners Dr Laxmikanta Dash and Dr Prafulla Kumar Ratha said the disturbances created starting from selection of daru to ghata parivartan (transfer of bramha of deities) have deeply hurt the sentiments and agitated the minds of the devotees throughout the country. 

Dash said the Crime Branch probe to investigate Brahma photos on social networking websites is eyewash. It was designed to mislead people of the State and to divert their attention from the real blunder made by the State Government and the SJTA. 

The Manch members said the temple should be free from all Government interference and all the functions and rituals should be guided by Jagadguru Shankaracharya, Gajapati Maharaja of Puri, Mukti Mandap Pandita Sabha for maintaining the sanctity and discipline of the temple. 

The members also urged the State Government to amend the RoR of the Shree Jagannath Temple to streamline the services and rituals of the Lord inside the temple. 

The Manch would conduct Hanuman Chalisha chanting on July 14 to make aware people about the gross management which has taken place in the Nabakalebara festival. “If the State Government doesn’t fulfill their demands, the will take the issue to the streets,” said Dash.

Politics over police-villagers clash begins

--BJP, Cong visit Keonjhar village
BHUBANESWAR: Four days after the violent clash between the police and villagers of Belabahali in Keonjhar over the construction of a proposed bridge on the Kosei River, opposition parties Congress and BJP made a beeline to the village to take stock of the situation. 
On Saturday, leaders of the BJP led by party’s State president KV Singh Deo arrived at the village to show their solidarity to the villagers who have been protesting the bridge on the river.   

The leaders met the villagers and then staged a meeting in the village to hear from the people about their problems after the clash. The villagers demanded early release of their people who were arrested by the police on June 7 in connection with the police-mob clash. 

Singh Deo said the police have arrested 113 people and sent them to jail in the case. “If the State Government does not release the arrested persons immediately, we will set out a foot-march (padyatra) from Belabahali to Bhubaneswar to gherao Naveen Niwas,” he added.

Similarly, a Congress team led by Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra and Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) president Prasad Harichandan had visited the place on Friday.

The Congress leaders said the agitation would be intensified if the State Government fails to pay attention to the demands of villagers.    

“The State Government should listen to the ordeal of villagers of four panchayats about the location of the bridge over the Kosei river. If the State doesn’t pay heed to their demands, we will intensify the agitation not only in Keonjhar but also in the State Assembly,” said Harichandan to the media.

Meanwhile, BJD leader and Rural Development Minister Badri Narayan Patra said the whole district wants the bridge to be built at the notified land opposed by the Belabahali village. “The bridge was notified during Congress regime. Why the Congress leaders, who are shedding crocodile tears for the villagers now, didn’t inform their Government to change the location then,” asked Patra.