Bhubaneswar: Thousands of farmers, under the banner of Naba Nirman Krushak Sangathan, yesterday defied prohibitory orders (Section 144), broke police cordon and tried to enter Bhubaneswar city to press their demands for price, prestige and pension.
The proposed farmers’ rally in state capital could not take place with Sangathan chief Akshaya Kumar and other farmer leaders being arrested. However farmers vowed to intensify still in the state.
Opposition leader Narasingha Mishra, Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee President Niranjan Patnaik, Congress leader Pradeep Majhi, Former parliamentarian Baijayant Panda, BJP State chief Basant Panda condemned Odisha govt’s attempt to prevent farmers from entering Bhubaneswar.
The state government formed an inter-ministerial committee, headed by finance minister Sashi Bhushan Behera, to look into their demands. The other members of committee are agriculture minister Pradeep Maharathy and co-operation minister Surya Narayan Patro.
For the past six months, the Sangathan members have been organising rallies in various parts of the state in support of their demands. They had launched a statewide Jana Satyagraha Yatra programme from October 29. Farmers from various parts of the state were marching to the city under the programme.
The farmers tried to enter the city from two sides — Tamando and Hansapal. While those coming from Berhampur and nearby places were stopped at various points, including Tamando and Khandagiri, the farmers marching from the Cuttack-side were detained at Hansapal.