Sunday, July 10, 2016

CONG-CALLED BANDH HITS LIFE IN KBK DISTRICTS Sunday, 03 July 2016 | PNS | BHUBANESWAR/ NUAPADA/BALANGIR | in Bhubaneswar 1

CONG-CALLED BANDH HITS LIFE IN KBK DISTRICTS
Sunday, 03 July 2016 | PNS | BHUBANESWAR/ NUAPADA/BALANGIR | in Bhubaneswar
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Normal life was paralysed in eight KBK districts on Saturday due to a 12-hour dawn-to-dusk bandh called by the Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee Tribal Cell protesting the arrest of party leader and former MP Pradip Majhi.
This apart, the agitators demanded land pattas for tribals under the Forest Rights Act.
PCC president Prasad Harichandan told reporters that the bandh was a total success.
While shops and business establishments remained closed in the eight districts of Kalahandi, Nabarangpur, Nuapada, Koraput, Rayagada, Malkangiri, Balangir and Subarnapur, vehicular movement came to a grinding halt as party members staged road blockades by burning tyres at many places.
However, emergency services and educational institutions were excluded from the ambit of the bandh call. Police forces were deployed at many places of the districts to prevent any untoward situation during the bandh, sources added.
“The State Government is taking credit by distributing land pattas to more than 3 lakh tribals, but in reality the Government has not executed the 2006 Forest Rights Act properly. The State Government had intentionally arrested Pradip Majhi who fights for the rights of tribals,” said Congress leader Bhakta Das.
Notably, Majhi and 18 other Congress members were arrested on June 26 for allegedly beating up the Raighar Forest Ranger and ransacking the range office during a demonstration demanding land pattas for tribals and ration cards to eligible poor beneficiaries.
The bandh was successful in Nuapada district. Over a thousand people, mostly tribals, attended a rally organised at Khariar. They held a meeting at the DFO office. The Jami Jungle Adhikar Mancha provided its full support.
“About 4,000 applications approved by the Gram Sabhas are still pending with the Forest Department. Why the department is not taking action,” wanted to know PCC secretary Adhiraj Panigrahi.
The DFO is not taking serious steps for awarding entitlement to the people under the FRA, alleged agitators.
The agitators also raised issues of irregularities in distribution of ration cards and delay in distributing input subsidy.
In Balangir, the bandh too evoked good response from people. Shops, petrol pumps and Government offices were closed due to picketing and buses were off the road.
“The Government is not implementing the FRA properly. We demand unconditional release of Padeep Majhi,” said Congress district president Bhagabana Bagarti.
 “A total of 11platoons of police force were deployed to avert any law and order situation,” said Balangir SP Ashis Singh.


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