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Cong, BJP criticise Odisha govt for harassing farmers


Press Trust of India Bhubaneswar
Opposition Congress and BJP Monday came down heavily on the Odisha government over allegedly harassing farmers who are on their way there to stage a demonstration on November 5.
The farmers are on a padayatra demanding price, prestige and pension, were stopped by the police at several places and attempted to disrupt the programme, alleged Naba Nirman Krushak Sangathan (NNKS) leader Akshya Kumar.
Kumar alleged that the farmers were detained on their way at Keonjhar, Balugaon, Jatasinghpur, Jajpur and others. They will assemble in the state capital on November 5 to press for their demands, he said.
Reports received here said that the police detained hundreds of activists at the Keonjhar railway station in the morning. Police also picked up NNKS convener of Cuttack district, Subash Panda.
The police also detained several activists at Kuakhia in Jajpur and Balugan in Khurda district on Sunday night while they were on a padayatra.
Police even seized their utensils used for cooking food, the activists alleged.
It appears that the state government has clamped a state of emergency. Even during the British rule, such instances were not seen. Now action is taken against people if they say anything against the government, Kumar said.
OPCC president Niranjan Patnaik said, "It is really undemocratic to stop farmers to raise their voice. They are on padayatra in peaceful manner and being stopped and harassed by police."

BJP leader Pritiwiraj Harichandan asked the govenrment to refrain from taking action against the farmers who are demanding higher price for their crop and pension for elderly fearmers.
Ruling BJD spkesman P K Deb said he did not have any such information regarding the farmers rally.

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First Published: Oct 29 2018 | 8:45 PM IST

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