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December 31, 2011

ALL ODISHA LAWYERS’ CONFERENCE IN FULL GUTSO

ALL ODISHA LAWYERS’ CONFERENCE IN FULL GUTSO 31/12/2011
ODISHA NEWS:


After a span of 19 years, the 40th All Odisha Lawyers’ Conference began at the BJB College ground in the city here on Thursday.

Organized by Bhubaneswar Bar Association with focus on the welfare aspect of lawyers, the conference has participation from 149 Bar Associations from all 30 districts of the state.


Lawyers have pressed the Government to address the problems of the needy and the poor among the fraternity and extend support to the Advocates’ Welfare Fund instituted by the State Bar Council.


The lawyers complained that though the State Government had assured to provide a matching grant to lawyers, to uplift the lawyers in Odisha, nothing has been initiated yet.


Adding more the lawyers said that, their longstanding demand of a land in Bhubaneswar for their own building was also unheard by the Government. Though the Law Minister last year had assured the land, but nothing has progressed since then.

Luminaries like Justices of the Supreme Court Ashok Kumar Ganguly, Ananga Kumar Patnaik and Deepak Misra, Justice Arijit Pasayat, chairman, Computation Tribunal, New Delhi, Justice AS Naidu, Member Green Tribunal, New Delhi, Justice RK Patra, chairperson, Odisha Human Rights Commission and Justice BK Mishra, Judge, Odisha High Court and such other eminent personalities from the legal and media sorority participated.

Justice Deepak Mishra led the discussion on ‘Role of Lawyers in the Present Legal System’ with advocates Bipin Bihari Rath, Jayant Das, Ramakanta Sahoo, Pratap Das and SN Das.

In the second session, eminent advocates Sailendra Patnaik, Bichitrananda Badjena, MM Patnaik, Jagannath Das and BK Mishra discussed on “Necessity of Amending the Land Acquisition Act, 1894’.

The two-day event is to discuss the ‘Role of Media in the Present Legal System’ with active participation from eminent personalities form media and legal domain, including Hara Prasad Das, former Vice-Chairman of the Central Administrative Tribunal, Ved Sharma, CEO, A2Z News and Milan Kanungo, member, Odisha State Bar Council.


The conference, organized by the Bhubaneswar Bar Association, came to an end on friday.

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA,
BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS,
ODISHA

2011 TURNED OUT TO BE A WORSE YEAR FOR SAMBALPUR

2011 TURNED OUT TO BE A WORSE YEAR FOR SAMBALPUR 31/12/2011
ODISHA NEWS:


The year 2011 was not a great one for Sambalpur district. Two starvation deaths, Maoist-related cases, nature’s fury, student unrest and political turmoil among other things kept the district administration on its toes.


A Dalit labourer Kapil Hans of Gobindpur village under Tribanpur gram panchayat of Rairakhol block reportedly died of starvation in July. Sources said Kapil, ailing reportedly from malnutrition and starvation, was bed-ridden.


As per reports, he owned 1.33 acres of farmland jointly with his five brothers and eked out a living as a daily wager along with his wife. He was not enlisted in the BPL and consequently deprived of benefits of all welfare schemes, including the old age pension. Though he had been running from pillar to post for BPL status under welfare programmes, it did not materialize.


Prior to this, Siba Naik (65) of Chubkadadar village of the same block died under similar circumstances on July 8. Like Kapila, Siba was not in the BPL list and deprived of all benefits.

The State Advisor to the Commission of Supreme Court on Right to Food Rajkishore Mishra had also confirmed that Siba and Kapila died of starvation.
Farmers in the periphery of Hindalco plant complained of crop damage due to effluent discharge by the plant.


While in the first half of the year, erratic rain hampered the crop output, a drought-like situation in the second half spoiled the crop prospects. With even the procurement moving at snail’s pace, farmers hit the streets many times.


The year also witnessed regrouping of Maoist cadres on several occasions. Gang wars too became a headache for the cops with the district BJP president Simnachal Khatei being fired upon in one such case. However, the cops could resolve all the cases with the arrest of some hardcore criminals under the NSA.

The district also witnessed flood in September. Incessant rain along with heavy discharge of flood water from Hirakud dam caused a flood-like situation in Sambalpur and adjoining areas. While many parts of the town remained waterlogged under rainwater, several other low-lying areas covered with back-water of the Hirakud dam.


With the help of volunteers and individuals, hundreds of affected families were shifted to safer places. Political workers and officials of district administration also came forward with relief works to provide food to the affected people. The district administration did a commendable work in the post-flood rehabilitation and reconstruction.

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA,
BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS, ODISHA

December 30, 2011

ODISHA CM DEMANDING RAILWAY PACKAGE FROM CENTRE

ODISHA CM DEMANDING RAILWAY PACKAGE FROM CENTRE 30/12/2011
ODISHA NEWS:


The Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik demanded a package for Odisha in the 2012-13 Railway Budget for the development of railways in the State.


As per sources, the package includes proposals for enhanced provisions for ongoing projects, sanctioning of new lines, introduction of new trains, electrification, surveys, improved passenger amenities at stations, increase in frequecy of existing mail and express trains and on board.


Patnaik, in a letter to the Prime Minister and the Railway Minister, has given a long list of proposals on development of railways in the State which had been neglected by successive Union Governments.

He urged the Prime Minister to advise Ministry of Railways to take necessary steps for allocating required funds for new and ongoing projects as well as for strengthening of railway infrastructure in Odisha.


Patnaik said, his Government has planned setting up of Greenfield ports on State’s coastline which serves as the Country’s gateway to International maritime trade as well as logistics channel between the eastern and western coasts. A synchronized development plan between the ports and rail connectivity is a necessity for maximizing economic gains, he added.


The CM demanded to provide railway connectivity to all the ports, besides declaring at least three railway projects with the status of National Projects and to convert the Bhubaneswar and Puri railway station to world class stations. In addition to this, the CM urged that the eastern dedicated freight corridor from Ludhiana to Dankuni should be extended to Berhampur, so as to ensure seamless movement of freight between the ports and the northern and central hinterlands of the country.


He proposed for construction of Bharachaam Road-Talcher rail link via Malkangiri, Jeypore, Lanjigarh, Sambalpur-Berhampur new rail link via Phulbani and Rayagada-Gopalpur rail link via Bhismagiri.

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA
BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS,
ODISHA

BAN CARRIES NO EFFECT ON SACRIFICING 30,000 ANIMALS AND BIRDS

BAN CARRIES NO EFFECT ON SACRIFICING 30,000 ANIMALS AND BIRDS 30/12/2011
ODISHA NEWS:


Defying prohibitory orders clamped by the district administration, ‘sacrifice’ of hundreds of animals on Tuesday morning at the Sulia festival at Saan Khala under Tusura police station, threw an open challenge to court orders and pained animal rights activists with its gory and hideous scenes on the spot.
Sulia Yatra is a traditional festival of the local tribals, held every year on the first Tuesday of the Hindu calendar month of Pausha.


Every year hundreds of animals, buffaloes, goats, hens and sheep are ‘sacrificed’ at the altar of Sulia Budha, the local tribe’s revered god. While the tribals held the view that they offered animals to the god after fulfillment of their individual wishes, the rationalists and the animal lovers opposed it as the worst kind of cruelty to animals and termed it as the most inhuman practice. Sulia Yatra is observed at two places, Khairaguda and Kummuria. Majority of animal ‘sacrifices’ earlier took place at Khairguda.


In 2006, the High Court directed the Balangir district administration to stop the hideous practice at the main yatra centre. And, accordingly, the administration took hard steps and the ‘sacrifices’ at Khairguda (the main centre) came to a halt.


But, strategically, the tribals only shifted their yatra site to Saan Khala and carried out their age-old tradition as usual, not affected by the court ban or the administration’s prohibitory orders. Following the imposition of prohibitory orders, they had created a new khala (sacrificing ground).

This year, the district administration had clamped prohibitory orders in three places — Bad Khala, Saan Khala, and Nuaan Khala.
Large number of police personnel and administrative officials were present at the spot but could not prevent the gruesome ritual, remaining mute spectators as buffalos, hens and goats in large numbers were butchered in Badkhala and Sankhala near Khairguda village, in violation of the prohibition order of the district administration.


“We have proclaimed 144 Cr PC at Badkhala, Sanakhala and Nuakhala and noticed 22 priests u/s 107 Cr PC to prevent animal sacrifice. But we could not stop animal sacrifice this year,” a senior officer of Balangir district administration said. However, he assured to take stringent action against those who indulged in the activities violating the court direction.


According to reports, notwithstanding the prohibitory orders, the tribals continued their sacrificial rituals at the Saan Khala on Tuesday morning and created the new ground — Nuaan Khala, informed Paschim Odisha Adivasi Kalyan Sangha Secretary Niranjan Bisi.


Tribals have a distinct identity and their customs, rituals and worships are totally different. They are strongly opposed to the attempts to impose non-tribal culture and tradition upon them.


“Hundreds of animals are being killed in broad daylight everyday in the Balangir town and elsewhere. Is it not cruelty to animals? Bisi asked.


He further asked, “If we, the tribals, sacrifice animals to our gods once in a year at a secluded place inside the jungle, why should the non-tribals object to it?” The tribals would carry on their customs, rituals and practices including offering of animals to deities, he asserted.


No animal sacrifices took place at the main puja place. Asked to comment on killing of animals at the Saan Khala, where prohibitory order was clamped by the district administration, Balangir Sub-Collector Jyoti Ranjan Pradhan said he would look into it and action would be taken as per law.


“We demand action against the persons who violated the rule of law. The Sulia Sanskar Manch is also contemplating to file Contempt of Court against those officials responsible for the lapses,” said manch convener Santanu Naik, reacting to the killing of animals at the place where prohibitory order was clamped.

The ban message, however, seems to have been adhered to by some people in Bad Khala where no animal was sacrificed. The rituals here passed off peacefully under the stewardship of head priest Biranchi Kunar.


Orissa high court had directed the district administration to prevent animal sacrifice during Sulia Yatra three years ago. The high court passed the interim order, acting on the petition of Sulia Samskar Manch, a Balangir-based NGO, protesting the practice of animal sacrifice.

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA,
BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS,
ODISHA

6 MILLION SKILLED WORKFORCE IS NEEDED IN 10 YEARS IN ODISHA

6 MILLION SKILLED WORKFORCE IS NEEDED IN 10 YEARS IN ODISHA 30/12/2011
ODISHA NEWS:

To keep pace with the tempo of industrialization, Orissa needs to generate a pool of around six million skilled professionals over the next 10 years to plug its glaring skill gap.

A study by National Skills Development Corporation (NSDC) has projected Orissa's requirement of skilled people at 13.5 million in the next 10 years.



The state's skilled workforce strength currently stands at 7.5 million, meaning a need to add six million more such professionals to power its industrial growth engine.


"Our chairman had a meeting with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik four months back. NSDC had agreed to facilitate a study on district-level skill gap and accordingly we have come out with the report. There is a huge skill gap in the state and there is also a capacity gap. The state has a training capacity of only 0.14 million and this has to be scaled up significantly to meet the growing demand for skilled people”, said Jaikant Singh, head (monitoring) of NSDC.


Singh said, NSDC would launch a focused pilot-level effort soon in three districts – Ganjam, Jajpur and Sambalpur to fill the skill gap.NSDC has also stressed on the need to fill in infrastructure gaps at the training centres in the state.
Moreover, the corporation's focus is on creating employment opportunities in districts depending on the available potential.


"There is potential within districts and this has to be explored. For example, if a region in the state is conducive for ginger production, logistics and technical support can be offered to the people. By generating employment opportunities for people and equipping them with skills based on the local, social and livelihood structure of their geographies, we can help improve their lot and economic condition, obviating the need for their migration to other states”, Singh stated.

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA,
BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS,
ODISHA

December 29, 2011

ODISHA POLICE TOO HAVE A HUMAN HEART

ODISHA POLICE TOO HAVE A HUMAN HEART 29/12/2011

Cold wave disrupts normal life in district, looking at severe cold in the city from fortnight the voluntary persons of town & Sambalpur police have jointly started a new campaign.


At night when the town peoples are stuck in their homes at that time this campaign starts. This operation is for those poor people who sleep in foot-path & trembling with cold. Blankets are being distributed for the protection of these poor people from the fierce cold by the voluntary organization along with Sambalpur Police. 150 blankets have been distributed among the poorer in first day of operation.


Similarly, by running this campaign over hundreds of blankets has been distributed among the poorer at Khetrajpur railway station, at Farm road situated Samleswari Mandir, at San sadak & Bad bazaar. Former president of Sambalpur Development Authority, Jaywart De, former deputy chairman of Sambalpur Municipal Ramchandra Meher, Town Thana in charge R N Dev, Dhanupali Thana in charge P K Rout, Khetrajpur Thana In charge Sanjiv Sathpathy, Prasanth Pattnaik etc. are the main persons who gave their contribution in this campaign.

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA,
BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS,
ODISHA

ODISHA CM URGING A STRONG LOKPAL AND TO ESTABLISH THE INSTITUTION OF LOKAYUKTA WITHIN 3 MONTHS IN ODISHA

ODISHA CM URGING A STRONG LOKPAL AND TO ESTABLISH THE INSTITUTION OF LOKAYUKTA WITHIN 3 MONTHS IN ODISHA 29/12/2011

ODISHA NEWS:



After the steps taken by the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in the Country for a strong Lokpal, the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik urged to have the Lokpal effective in the State by amending the existing law.

Talking to the mediapersons, Patnaik said, “We are in favour of a strong Lokpal, and will take steps to amend the present law after the panchayat elections for an effective Lokpal at the State level.”

Odisha Government to establish institution of Lokayukta within 3 months. This was announced by the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday.

Chief Minister announced here that his Government would bring the Lokayukta Bill within next three months in the Budget Session of the State Assembly. On the Lokpal Bill, he said the BJD wanted a strong Lokpal to fight against corruption. Expressing his unhappiness over the amended structure of the Lokpal Bill, Patnaik said the corruption investigation wing should be under the ambit of the Lokpal.
On the allegation by Opposition Congress on land Acquisition for Vedanta University Issue, Patnaik said that a number of pending special reports had so far been cleared in the State Cabinet.


“We will bring rest of the Lokpal’s special reports to the Cabinet shortly and then table them in the Assembly as per procedure,” he added.
Stating that the BJD's stand on the Lokpal Bill had been made clear in the Lok Sabha yesterday, he said that as far as CBI is concerned, the anti-corruption wing of the agency should come under the Lokpal.


Stating that he was very concerned over the health of Anna Hazare, the chief minister hoped early recovery of the Gandhian leader.

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA,
BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS,ODISHA

ABDUCTION PLANNING ON KISS STUDENTS FOILED

ABDUCTION PLANNING ON KISS STUDENTS FOILED 29/12/2011
ODISHA NEWS:


Some miscreants' bid to abduct two students of Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS), the largest tribal institute of the world, was foiled by alert security guards and staffs of the institute. Four anti-socials in two cars, bearing numbers OR 02 BM 7252 and OR 02 AA 0800, approached the back side of the campus and started to talk to some students present there.


They were successful in luring some children with the promise of good food and publicity on a television channel. They were told that they have to speak on the television channel that in KISS they are kept without food and tortured in many other ways. When the children did not agree to this, they tried to take them forcibly. All these attracted attention of the security guard, who confronted them and rescued two children from inside the cars. He immediately informed the matter to Mr. Basant Behera, ADO, KISS. Inquired by Mr. Behera, they said that they had come here to meet one Mr. Rout. Further quizzed about children found inside their cars, they sped away.


In this connection, a FIR has been filed in Info city Police Station on behalf of 15000 students of KISS. It is a very sensitive issue that aimed to demoralize the noble works done by KISS, intellectuals reacted. Students demand immediate arrest of the miscreants.

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA,
BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS,
ODISHA

December 28, 2011

500 CONGRESS WORKER JOIN BJD

500 CONGRESS WORKER JOIN BJD 28/12/2011
ODISHA NEWS:

At least 500 Congress supporters, including two Sarapanchs Bikram Samal of Okotapur Gram Panchayat and Bikram Samal of Kantigadia gram panchayat of Jaipur District on Tuesday joined the Biju Janata Dal in the presence of senior BJD leader and MLA of Dharmasala Kalpataru Das.

Addressing the gathering, Das said that Naveen Patnaik-led BJD government has been doing all welfare works for the poor and downtrodden people.

All the village roads were in bad shape 15 years back, but the BJD government constructed them. Das also hoped that in the coming panchayat elections, the BJD will sweep in Jajpur district. Among others, BJD leaders Niranjan Bal and Jaladhar Sahoo were present.

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA
BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS,
ODISHA

FATHER’S SEPRATION DEADLY FOR A CHILD

FATHER’S SEPRATION DEADLY FOR A CHILD 28/12/2011
ODISHA NEWS:

When police whisked away Upendra Mirdha and his cousin from his Banjarikitira village in the wee hours of on Nov 14, his diabetic son Sushanta (16) hoped his father would be back soon. Policemen too assured them Upendra would be ‘back in five minutes.’ It took more than 12 hours to ascertain where they were taken.

A month later, Upendra, branded as a suspected Maoist is in judicial custody. And the son could not sustain the Type I deadly disease. Sushanta passed away on Dec 17 for want of treatment.

The family members were never told about the charges on which the brothers’ duos were being taken nor where are they being taken. Today Sushanta’s mother, Khati feels that his son would have been alive had his father been near him. ‘’He waited for him to come back home till he closed his eyes’’, she said with moist eyes. Ironically, two members of the Mirdha family had been killed by the Maoists on June 26, 2005.

Despite suffering from childhood diabetes, Sushanta was somewhat happy and looked forward to lead a normal life. The disease was diagnosed when he was in Class IX at? Girishchandrapur Sevashram School in Jujumura Block of Sambalpur district.

Repeated health problem forced his father to bring him back home and tend him. In the process the proximity of the father and son increased till the Sambalpur police took Upendra away.

The absence of the father aggravated the condition of Sushanta who was exclusively looked after and attended to by his father. Soon he began suffering from generalised anasarca and became skinny.

Although the doctors had referred Sushanta to Super Specialty Hospital, poverty and penury had left Upendra with little option except looking after him at home with whatever he earned from his marginal land holding besides working as daily wager.

Sushanta could bear no more and died waiting for his father.

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA,
BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS,
ODISHA

December 26, 2011

MAOISTS ARE BACK TRACKING AS SECURITY FORCES STEP UP ACTION IN ODISHA

MAOISTS ARE BACK TRACKING AS SECURITY FORCES STEP UP ACTION IN ODISHA 26/12/2011
ODISHA NEWS:


With the Boarder Security Forces, along with the local police, intensifying the operation against the outlawed CPI (Maoist) in Southern Odisha, the rebels fleeing the area. Apprehending encounter by the security forces, they are moving to the interior and unknown destinations. The recovery of huge cache of arms and ammos from the Maoist dumps in Rayagada and Malkangiri during the past couple of days gives indication that the Left Wing Extremists are fleeing their camps to avert encounter with paramilitary forces.


In a joint raid by the 130th Battalion of BSF and Koraput District Police on Friday, the cops unearthed a Maoist dump near Sisaput,about 100 km from Koraput bordering Malkangiri district and recovered huge quantities of communication equipments, explosives and Maoist literature from there. The explosives were dumped by the Maoists to use it in some future offensive. Investigation is on," said a senior police officer engaged in anti-Maoist operations in Koraput. "Presence of more explosives in the area can't be ruled out. We are planning of more operations in the area," the officer added.


This incident clearly gives a cue that the Maoist rebels are leaving their camps for some more interior and safe locations fearing police action,
The extremists were probably planning for a major attack in the area, but fled away leaving behind their arms and ammunition and other materials underground anticipating a police attack, sources said.

The explosives were dumped by the Maoists to use it in some future offensive. Investigation is on," said a senior police officer engaged in anti-Maoist operations in Koraput. "Presence of more explosives in the area can't be ruled out. We are planning of more operations in the area," the officer added.
The MHA, the nodal agency for all internal security issues, did have a Maoist management division, but it was staffed with bureaucrats who had never served in Maoist-affected states or had any experience in counter-insurgency. The police bore the brunt of the Maoist attacks, yet weren’t included at the policymaking level to be able to make a meaningful contribution.


For years, the ragged security infrastructures in the Naxal-affected states of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra have worked in isolation, pitting their motley crew of state police and central paramilitary forces against Maoists—the whole thing was marked by an absence of strategy.


However, things began to change and an anti-Maoist strategy began to take shape only after the deployment of elite Border Security Forces in the Maoist infested South Odisha.

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA
BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS, ODISHA

ODISHA CM PLANS TO LEVY OF MINERAL RESOURCES RENT TAX

ODISHA CM PLANS TO LEVY OF MINERAL RESOURCES RENT TAX 26/12/2011
ODISHA NEWS:

Chief minister Naveen Patnaik once again urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to take necessary steps for levy of Mineral Resources Rent Tax on iron ore.
Expressing resentment over the gross apathy of the Centre towards his proposal, Patnaik in his second letter to the prime minister, sought to know the reasons of no response.


Since 2003, the state government has been collecting forest development tax (FDT) on kendu leaf, timber and bamboo as an attempt to make up for the loss on sales tax on the forest produce, particularly kendu leaf in which Orissa is a leading producer.

A note from the state steel and mines department to the forest and environment department last week said that FDT can be levied on the basis of the sale value of minerals fixed by the Indian Bureau of Mines. Though IBM sale value for iron, chrome and manganese is available, the same for bauxite and many other minerals are not available and a mechanism will have to be devised for assessing the sale of value.

The note, however, cautioned that mine lessees may show forest produce coming from a non-forest area as FDT will be levied. “Therefore, it may be necessary to develop a mechanism by the forest and environment department to identify the produce which is from the forest area,” the note said. It added that the view of law department needs to be taken as royalty on mineral is collected under MMDR Act. “As per provisions under section 2 of the Act, levy of taxes on minerals by the state is not permissible.”


Asserting that the proposal of the state government would not affect mining activities, he said that the intention is to impose tax on surplus rent and thus allow the mining companies to make profits that are commensurate with the risks involved.


Defending the state’s proposal, he said that besides giving additional resources to the areas affected by mining, the tax will act as a deterrent to excessive mining.
Clarifying the intention of the state government, he said that the proposed tax so collected should accrue to the state government for improving social and physical infrastructure, strengthening welfare measures to improve the livelihood of the poor people of the state.


Stating that the issues raised are of vital importance to the state, the chief minister said earlier last week, that the State Cabinet had expressed grave concern and after due deliberation a resolution was adopted on the issue which was also sent to the Centre for taking necessary steps.


Stating that he had been raising the issue in various forums such as at the National Integration Council and the National Development Council earlier this year, he said that he is unable to understand why the Centre has not taken a decision on my proposal which will be in the larger interest of the community, particularly those residing in the mining areas.


SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA,
BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS,
ODISHA

December 25, 2011

DECEIVING IN THE NAME OF JOB EXPOSED IN BHUSAN

DECEIVING IN THE NAME OF JOB EXPOSED IN BHUSAN 25/12/2011
ODISHA NEWS:


Bhusan Power & Steel LTD, Thelkoli, Sambalpur is once again on news. One of its engineers Rakesh Kumar along with his colleague working at Thelkoli Plant has been arrested by Sambalpur Police & put him behind the bar under judicial custody on charges of cheating millions of rupees from educated and unemployed youth people which are wandering in search of jobs. More than hundred numbers of applications of the unemployed young people, Fake appointment letter, Bhushan Company’s Letterpad, along with a laptop and two mobile phones has been seized by the police during raids at the residence of accused situated in Jharsuguda.



In this matter Additional Superintendent of Police, Sambalpur Dilip Kumar Dev by giving details said that Pramod Kumar Sahu living in the Belpahad area of Jharsuguda district was working in a plant situated at Gujarat. Due to family problems, instead of Gujarat wanted to work anywhere around his home district Jharsuguda. Pramod met with Ravi Kumar Mishra a resident of Uttar Pradesh working in MSP plant in Jharsuguda. Ravi made of his meeting with engineer Rakesh Kumar a resident of Siwan in Bihar working in Bhusan Plant .

In Thelkoli Rakesh has promised Pramod to get a job in the Bhushan plant .After taking Fifty Thousand, Rakesh also given appointment letter to Pramod.


After getting appointment letters Pramod has resigned from his service in Gujarat came back to Belpahad.By taking this appointment letter when Pramod gone to Bhusan Plant’s Administration for joining, they refused it & in reply said that it is a fake appointment letter & the signature in it of executive director Arun Jalali is also fake. Then Pramod demanded back his money from Rakesh and Ravi, then they avoiding him. Due to this effect by getting tensed Pramod reported to Thelkuli police. The Thelkuli Police has come into action and arrested Rakesh and Ravi. This is second time within a month that this type of work done by employees of Bhusan Steel & Power Ltd, Thelkoli, Sambalpur.


SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA,
BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS,
ODISHA

ODISHA BEGS PEACE FROM KUI TRIBE BEFORE CHRISTMAS

ODISHA BEGS PEACE FROM KUI TRIBE BEFORE CHRISTMAS 25/12/2011
ODISHA NEWS:-

The Kandhamal Kui Samaj Samanwaya Samiti (KKSSS), a tribal outfit which had called a four-day district bandh from Saturday, has cut short its earlier decision and decided to observe only a day-long bandh on December 26. The decision of the tribal outfit has brought some relief to the district administration, with the sizeable Christian population in the region gearing up to celebrate Christmas today.


The KSSS had called for Kandhamal bandh from December 24 to 26 for non-fulfilment of its 34-point charter of demands that the chief minister Naveen Patnaik had promised to implement.


“Following the request by the state administration and assurances by senior government officials to fulfil our demands, we have partially called off our bandh call. Instead of four days, we have called for a one-day Kandhamal bandh on December 26. However, we will hold meetings peacefully and observe Martyrs’ Day on December 25 without disturbing other communities. We want that our Christian brothers and sisters observe Christmas with all happiness and fervour,” KSSS president Lambodar Kanhar told the media on Saturday.

Mr Kanhar warned that unless the government considered the demands of Kui Samaj by January 20, the organization would give fresh Kandhamal bandh call on January 25 and 26.


The tribal leaders decided to cut short their earlier decision after a high-level meeting at Phulabani on Friday evening with the RDC, southern division, L N Nayak; DIG of police, southern division, R K Sharma and officials of the district administration.


The tribal outfit has drawn the deadline of January 20 to take action against persons enjoying tribal benefits with the help of fake certificates. The organization has threatened to resume the district bandh on January 25 and 26 if the demand is not fulfilled.


Security has been tightened across the district nevertheless with the deployment of at least 55 platoons of police force and over 50 police officers during the festival.


"We have prepared all security measures to ensure a peaceful Christmas celebration in the district," said a senior police officer. Checking of vehicles has already stared, while night patrolling has been intensified in the district for the Christmas mid-night mass in churches.


The district has witnessed communal riots during this time of the year in the past.

District collector Rajesh Prabhakar Patil and SP J N Pankaj were travelling to various parts of the district to assess the situation. "The situation is normal and we hope Christmas will be peaceful this year," the collector said.


Similar security arrangements have been made in Gajapati district too, which is also home to a large number of Christians, sources said.

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA,
BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS,
ODISHA

December 24, 2011

ODISHA HOSTS THE INTERNATIONAL ODISHI FESTIVAL AND ODISHI DANCE GAINS A NEW STATUS IN GUINESS WORLD RECORD


ODISHA HOSTS THE INTERNATIONAL ODISHI FESTIVAL AND ODISHI DANCE GAINS A NEW STATUS IN GUINESS WORLD RECORD 24/12/2011

ODISHA NEWS:


Odissi dancers from across the globe presented a spectacular show together in the biggest ever assembly at the opening of International Odissi Festival on Friday, in order to set a world record.


It is very much mesmerizing to see dancers filled with color and grace and the grandeur of Odissi dance reverberated in Kalinga Stadium here as a sea of dancers attempted to create a world record .

More than 5000 audience, photo journalists and video journalists across the capital, celebrities, politicians and bureaucrats of the state, visitors across the globe and last but not the list 555 acclaimed Odissi dancers having all fingers crossed for the very moment of Guinness world record. It was exactly 4.01 pm in the afternoon they made it happen with all their honest efforts. Starting from 3.33pm in the afternoon the 28minute long performance enthralled one and all present inside the stadium .


The Culture Department of Odisha, organized this unique event at the Kalinga Stadium on the eve of Odissi International Festival. On the eve of inauguration Mr. Praffulla Samala, Culture and Tourism Minister of the state stated that there has been plnning to set up Odissi Dance Institutions at the every panchayat level. This programme was organised by the department with collaboration with ICCR, Sangeet Natak Academy, IPAP USA & Guru Kelu Charan Mohapatra Odissi Research Centre.


Among the dancers there were 7 foreign participants while 27 dancers were from other parts of India. Pallavi, one of the participants speaks out her joyful experience saying that” It was hard to practicing 10 to 5 under sun but we really forget everything I don't have words to express. it was a great experience performing among 555 dancer i feel very proud to part of it.”

The largest number of dancers came from USA, Russia and Japan. For the first time this year dancers from Israel, the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden and Brazil are participating in this global gathering.


"It is a proud moment for all of us. Each and every Odia would feel proud of this moment in history," said Guru Ratikant Mahapatra, who choreographed the mega show, which marked the beginning of the eight-day magnificent Odissi International Dance Festival. "Today's performance shows Odissi is coming back from classes to masses," said Dr Lalit Mansingh, former Indian diplomat and chairman of the Odissi festival.
The event came after a performance of around 2,800 Kuchipudi dancers, who earned the Guinness World Record last year in Hyderabad, a senior Culture department official said.

With this magical event the biggest ever event for Odissi started in the capital. Odissi dancers across the globe are waiting for the dancing floor of Rabindra Mandap.

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA,
BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS,
ODISHA

HIGH COURT CLEARS DECKS FOR PROMOTION OF SCHOOL TEACHERS

HIGH COURT CLEARS DECKS FOR PROMOTION OF SCHOOL TEACHERS 24/12/2011

ODISHA NEWS:

In a significant ruling, the ODISHA HIGH COURT has cleared the decks for the state government to prepare a seniority list of primary school teachers and effect promotions for deserving teachers as per the Elementary Cadre Rules which were introduced for school teachers in 1997.

A division bench of justices B P Das and B K Mishra quashing all previous interim orders of the High Court and State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) yesterday directed the school and mass education secretary to fix seniority of the primary school teachers, who were declared government servants by strength of two government resolutions of 1989 and 1991.

Directing the department to go ahead with promotion of deserving teachers as per the seniority list, the High Court also made it clear that if any promotion has been effected in the meanwhile basing on the seniority list so prepared earlier, the same shall be treated as non-est.

The case inter alia pertains to promotion of some school teachers that had been pending ever since Elementary Cadre Rules were introduced for school teachers in 1997. While primary school teachers were declared government servants in 1989 and minor school teachers got that status in 1991, a gradation list of all teachers was prepared in 1997.


Accordingly, the government in 2009 came out with a notification to promote at least 18,000 teachers from Grade 4 to Grade 3 to fill up vacant post of headmasters in several schools. This notification was challenged by the minor school teachers in the SAT which in turn directed the government not to consider the promotional avenues of the teachers who were declared government servants in 1989.


The teachers had approached the HC which in turn quashed the tribunal order and asked the government not to take any step on promotion of teachers without the leave of the court. The state government however, promoted some teachers in 2010 even as the case was not finally disposed off in the High Court. When the promotion matter came to the notice of the HC, it took serious view of it and registered contempt of court cases against the department secretary and two other officials.

Following unconditional apology by the officials and government giving a clarification that it would not give effect to the promotions without the leave of the Court, the contempt cases against the officials were dropped. The government however, had told the Court that promotion of teachers was highly necessary to fill up some 18,000 posts of headmasters in primary schools of the State for providing quality education in primary schools under Free and Compulsory Education Act. ( SOURCE – PTI)

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA,
BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS, ODISHA

December 23, 2011

A CUSTODIAL DEATH VICTIM COMPENSATED BY THE HIGH COURT OF ODISHA

A CUSTODIAL DEATH VICTIM COMPENSATED BY THE HIGH COURT OF ODISHA 23/12/2011
ODISHA NEWS:


It took four years of legal battle for the parents of custodial death victim Bhaskar Behera of Athaghar to get a compensation of 4 lakh awarded by the Hon’ble High Court of Odisha on Thursday.

A division bench of the High Court headed by Chief Justice V Gopala Gowda holding the state police responsible for the death one Bhaskar Behera of Athagarh in June 2007 directed the state government to pay the compensation to the mother of the deceased, Bilasini Behera.

The parents of the victim were not satisfied by the previous award of Rs 1 lakh as compensation by the Odisha Human Right Commission for that they had approached the High Court for more compensation for their 24 year old son who died due to police atrocities behind the cell.


Directed by the High Court, the Odisha Human Rights Commission in 2008 had conducted an enquiry into the incident and observed that Bhaskar died due to shock and not due to police assault as alleged.

However, the Commission had held the police guilty for unlawful entry into the house of Bhaskar at the dead of the night and had instructed the state government to initiate departmental proceedings against the erring policemen.

The Odisha Human Rights Commission had held that Athgarh police led by ASI NK Das had gone to Rajnagar village on that ill-fated night to investigate one complaint of a minor girl being assaulted by one Kabu Behera.

Instead of pursuing that case, police entered into the house of Bhaskar, who was sleeping at that time.


Bhaskar died due to aspiration of stomach-contents into his wind pipe as he was shocked and frightened at the sight of police at his doorstep late in the night, the Commission had observed in its report basing on medical evidence.

The incident, however, had triggered panic in the state and the Congress had observed Athgarh bandh, demanding CBI probe into the incident.

The incident had also assumed significance as in an unfortunate incident, the 85-year-old grandfather of the victim, Chaitanya Behera, died two days after Bhaskar’s death due to shock and agony.

Family members had claimed that Chaitanya was the only eye-witness to police assault on Bhaskar.


In India, Government is for the people, of the people and by the people. Law is for the people and people are not for the law. The utmost object of any law is to create an atmosphere of trust, equality and fearless co-existence among the people irrespective of status, caste, creed or religion. But the State fails to evolve any law for the welfare of the families of the victims of the custodial death.


No one ever cares to look into the state of condition of the families of the victims of the custodial death who lost their only breadwinner. The Government whose foremost duty is welfare of the people, not bothered to bring any legislation for the welfare of the families of the victims of the custodial death perhaps their contribution to the vote bank of the political parties who run the government is negligible. The families of the victims of custodial death lost regular income, wife lost a protecting husband and children lost a caring father in this way every member of the family lost some one or the other for no fault on their part. There all hopes dashed to ground. The lump sum monetary compensation is not an appropriate and only remedy in case where the victim is the only breadwinner for the family. In such a case the family is not only in need of lump sum monetary compensation but also requires monthly income to supplement the income lost.


The State and the society must realize the necessity of developing more scientific forensic investigation leading to the correct conclusion avoiding the pressure obligation or duty on the police and other law enforcing authorities to bring the offenders to justice.


SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA,
BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS,
ODISHA

December 22, 2011

COMPENSATION FOR THE RAPE VICTIM

COMPENSATION FOR THE RAPE VICTIM 22/12/2011
ODISHA NEWS:

A physically challenged girl was being raped by an employee of VSS Medical College and Hospital, Burla, Sambalpur on August 20, 2009.

A FIR had been lodged in the Burla PS on August 21st by her mother. The accused Jayasingh Behera got arrested .

The locals of Burla agitated to take stringent action against the rapist/accused demanding a Bandh. A social activist and an advocate Mr Prabir Das had headed the Human Right Commission asking for compensation of the victim girl.

The case was finally heard by the Chief Judicial Magistrate and Additional District Judge of Sambalpur.

“The district magistrate of Sambalpur had also got a magistrate to conduct an inquiry into the matter. The magistrate had said that the victim was a Dalit girl but the case was not brought under the purview of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act because the girl had not been assaulted because she was Dalit. However, looking at the financial condition of the victim, the magistrate had recommended compensation of Rs 50, 000,” said Adv PrabirDas.

The commission has directed the government of Odisha to pay Rs 3 lakh as compensation to the victim. The commission has also asked the government of Odisha to furnish proof of payment of compensation within six weeks.


SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA,
BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS,
ODISHA

KOSAL UPRISING IN WESTERN ODISHA STARTS FROM DEC 23RD 2011

KOSAL UPRISING IN WESTERN ODISHA STARTS FROM DEC 23RD 2011 ( 22/12/2011)
ODISHA NEWS:

Demanding separate Kosal state once again Koshal Kranti Dal (KKD) is once again started their campaign. According KKD, by taking this demand of Separate Koshal State a mass campaign will be starting from 23rd of December till January 23rd in whole Western Odisha. Beside this on the issue of separate state, KKD will encompass in front of the houses of Western Odisha’s silent sitting MLAs & MPs in upcoming April 2012.

In a press conference organized by the KKD, Party central president Pramod Kumar Mishra said that on a separate Kosal state at starting stage this movement was limited only to cities, but this time the movement will be taken to villages. For this public campaign will be run till January 23rd in five steps starting from 23rd of December. In this respect, the political parties which support Kosal movement will be harmony in the forthcoming panchayat elections. Also support would be given to those candidates who support Kosal movement.


Mishra further said that the in country now once again the issue of separate states is raising. Uttar Pradesh assembly has passed the proposed of four separate state .On Telangana issue Andhra Pradesh’s MLAs and MPs are already joined the movement by given their resignation. But regret is of that all the legislators and parliamentarians of Western Odisha are sitting tight-lipped on separate Kosal state .If these MLAs & MPs of Western Odisha will not announced their support to Kosal movement then by upcoming 1st of April picketing will be in front of their houses. Mishra further informed that in Western Odisha the lawyers' movement has been going on since a long years on demand of a permanent bench of Odisha High Court .As KKD urged from lawyers to led Kosal movement in support to their mother soil, so that we will definitely won the battle.


SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA,
BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS,
ODISHA

December 21, 2011

SIGNING OF MOU BETWEEN OPGC AND TRANSPARENCY INTERNATIONAL


SIGNING OF MOU BETWEEN OPGC AND TRANSPARENCY INTERNATIONAL 21/12/2011
ODISHA NEWS

Orissa Power Generation Corporation (OPGC) today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Transparency International India committing itself, its suppliers and contractors for adoption of Integrity Pact, a tool developed by Transparency International, to ensure that all activities and transactions between the company and their suppliers and contractors are dealt in a fair, transparent and corruption free manner.


The MoU was signed at the state secretariat in Bhubaneswar in the presence of Hon’ble Minister for Finance and Public Enterprise, Shri. Prafulla Ghadai, Hon’ble Minister for Energy, Shri. Atanu Sabayasachi Nayak, along with several senior Government officials, representatives of OPGC, TII, vendors of OPGC among others. On behalf of OPGC, Mr. Venkatachalam K, MD signed the MoU while Mr. P S Bawa, Chairman, Transparency International India was the other signatory of the pact.


Among the states Odisha has become the first State to have its PSU adopt and OPGC has become the first one to join hands with TII to pioneer transparency and fairness in its operation. As per the terms agreed upon in the MoU, OPGC will appoint competent and credible Independent External Monitor (IEM) in consultation with TII to review independently and objectively, whether and to what extent the parties comply with the obligations under this agreement.


Speaking on the occasion Mr. Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak, Energy Minister, Odisha said “It is a new initiative that has been taken by the state PSU OPGC and this will certainly bring transparency and transformation in the operations. It is important to implement this initiative towards creating corruption free environment and OPGC is committed towards transparency in all operations leading to better operational efficiency.”


Speaking on the occasion Mr. Prafulla Chandra Ghadai, Finance & Public Enterprises Minister, Odisha said “I must congratulate all the officials of OPGC for being the first state PSU to adopt this integrity pact with Transparency International India. However, utmost care need to be taken to properly implement this program and periodical review has to be maintained by OPGC for consistent improvement. This will help in checking corruption and bringing transparency in the society.”



It may be noted here that OPGC is a state premier Public Sector Organization incorporated with the object to establish, operate and maintain electric power generation stations and to develop coal mine and to pursue such other objective as are incidental and ancillary thereto. Currently, it is operating 2x210 MW power station at Ib Thermal Power Station, Banharpalli, Dist. Jharsuguda, Orissa and pursuing project development activities for capacity addition of 2x660 MW in the same location in addition to development of captive coal block in Sundergarh district. OPGC, which was incorporated on November 14, 1984, is a 51:49 JV between the Govt. of Orissa and AES Corporation, USA.

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA,
BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS, ODISHA

AMENDING ORV ACT TO ENSURE PROMOTIONAL AVENUES

AMENDING ORV ACT TO ENSURE PROMOTIONAL AVENUES 21/12/2011
ODISHA NEWS

Odisha Government to amend ORV Act to ensure promotional avenues. This was announced by SC and ST development minister Lal Bihari Himrika on Tuesday at the State Assembly. Accepting the demands of members cutting across party lines, SC and ST development minister Lal Bihari Himrika on Tuesday assured the State Assembly that the state government would take immediate steps to bring amendments in the Odisha Reservation of Vacancies in Posts and Services for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Act, 1975 (ORV Act) to ensure their promotional avenues in government services.


The minister, while replying to an adjournment motion on the issue, also told the House that a special amendment was under process to provide reservation for the SC/ST candidates in the contract and ad hoc appointments in government offices and other institutions.


During reply, the minister, sharing the concern of the members, said that the process to bring necessary amendments in the ORV act was underway.
A high power Committee headed by the development commissioner had already given its report suggesting necessary amendments in the Act.
The final draft Bill would be prepared after examination and consultation of various related departments and would be placed in the Assembly after getting cabinet approval.


He also said that a resolution to bring special amendment in the ORV Act, providing reservation in case of contract jobs has been sent to the General Administration department for its views.


It would also be placed before the cabinet soon, he said.
On the other hand, the main Opposition Congress members staged a walkout, expressing their displeasure over the reply of the minister for failing to give a definite deadline to bring the necessary amendments in the Act.


As the state government has no intention to implement the law, we are walking out of the house in protest, leader of opposition Bhupinder Singh of Congress said.
Alleging that the ruling BJD was not interested in the welfare of the tribals and dalits, Singh sought to know why the state government did not move the Supreme Court against judgement of the High Court which quashed a state government resolution of providing promotional facilities for ST and SC employees in the service.
Why the state government did not challenge the judgement oif the Odisha High Court with regards to the ORV Act, Congress member and tribal leader Dambarudhara Ullka asked.


If the state government can file special leave petition (SLP) in the Supreme Court for Vedanta company, why can't it do the same for protecting interest of tribals and dalits, Congress member Chakradhar Paik asked, adding that these two communities (ST & SC) comprise 40 per cent of the state's population.


SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA
BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS,
ODISHA

December 20, 2011

CHARULATA PRAYING FOR BETTER TREATMENT


CHARULATA PRAYING FOR BETTER TREATMENT 20/12/2011
ODISHA NEWS

The government has run various health schemes to save the Premature Death of any poor people due to lack of wealth. But some of these programs are unable to executive at the time. Such an incident is seeing at Jharsuguda.An Ashakarmi Charulata Jena after being severely injured in a road accident is wandering door to door for the treatment & the therapy is also not properly.

As per information available in this regard the Ashakarmi Jena was going to her house at Lakhanpur in a Tempo, meanwhile a truck knocked down the tempo at Bombay Chowk in Jharsuguda.Due to this the hands and legs were broken down of Charulata.

At that time, the local people admitted Charulata at Samleshhwari nursing home. There somehow she had arranged hardly five thousand rupees & had got treated .Thereafter some people admitted Government National Health Insurance Plans Holder Charulata to Sairam hospital located at Ekatali, Jharsuguda.


Here in a few days Charulata Have spent over 30 thousand in various Medical Checkup & Treatment. Thereafter the hospital administration by saying that your money finished, discharged Charulata from there. Thereafter other Ashakarmi members has been admitted Charulata in the district main hospital. But even then Charulata is unable to get better treatment. The main charges imposed by the victim Charulata is that according to National Health Insurance Plan her 30 thousand rupees has been widespread abuses & chicanery.

Charulata also blamed that the she didn’t know till now which & what type of treatment has been done to her, it’s not clear to me & that how the important government health insurance plan has been misused by some corrupt people. Charulata also said that no information from police side about the owner of the truck done accident,detected or not ?It is clear from Charulata case that if such type of treatment is going on with a Ashakarmi then what to speak about general public. The people are demanding a high level inquiry in this issue.


SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA,
BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS,
ODISHA

December 19, 2011

A SENIOR BJP LEADER WAS SHOT AT

A SENIOR BJP LEADER WAS SHOT AT 19/12/2011
ODISHA NEWS :-

A senior BJP leader was shot at by unidentified assailants in Sambalpur district. The former BJP district president, Seema Khatei, was attacked at Chepti Pulia near Remed while he was on his way to Hirakud from here.


The assailants fired at Khatei while he was returning to Hirakud from Sambalpur. Three goons were allegedly waiting for him near Chepti Pulia. When Khatei’s vehicle approached the bridge, they allegedly came in front of it and fired at him.
Khatei, who was sitting on the front seat of the vehicle, sustained bullet injury.


The culprits, who were wearing monkey caps, fled from the spot immediately after firing at him. Khatei’s driver took the vehicle straight to Hirakud police station.
He sustained bullet injuries in his abdomen and was immediately admitted to VSS Medical College and Hospital. Glass of his SUV that shattered due to the firing have also pierced his body. His condition, however, is stable, according to hospital sources.


Police have started a manhunt. “Preliminary probe has revealed that there were three persons who came in motorcycle and waited on the way. They fled after firing at the saffron leader,” IIC of Hirakud police station Subash Chandra Sahu said. SP (Sambalpur) Nikhil Kanodia visited the spot. Reacting sharply to the incident, the BJP has accused the police of growing criminal activities in the district.


“The law and order situation in Sambalpur has worsened. Shootouts have become very frequent here. We have demanded immediate arrest of the culprits. The Sambalpur police superintendent has assured that the culprits will be apprehended soon,” said state BJP secretary Govind Agrawala.

On September 20, another firing incident had taken place at Hirakud, in which two persons had been severely injured. Another person was also killed with a sharp weapon in that incident.

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA
BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS,
ODISHA

MAXICAN SCIENTIST GOES FOR UNESCO KALINGA AWARD

MAXICAN SCIENTIST GOES FOR UNESCO KALINGA AWARD 19/12/2011

ODISHA: Rene Raul Drucker Colin of Mexico was on Saturday named as the winner of the prestigious Unesco Kalinga Prize for the year 2011 for his contribution to popularise science among common men, according to an announcement made by the Kalinga Foundation Trust (KFT).

Dr Drucker Colin will receive the Unesco Kalinga Prize 2011 for his contribution to popularise science among common men, KFT president B C Patnaik.

The winner of the Unesco Kalinga Prize gets a cash award of USD 20,000, Unesco Albert Einstein Silver Medal and a citation.

The winner also gets the award of Kalinga Chair introduced by the Centre to mark the 50th anniversary of Kalinga Prize.

The holder of the Kalinga Chair travels to India for a period of two to four weeks as a guest of government of India and delivers talks on popularisation of science at different educational institutions. Kalinga Chair also carries a token honorarium of USD 5,000.

The Unesco Kalinga Prize to be conferred at a special function is scheduled to be held here on January 3, 2012.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is likely to present the prize here, Patnaik said, adding that the Kalinga Prize was set up by Biju Patnaik in the year 1952 as part of promoting pularisation of science among common people.

The prize was renamed as Unesco Kalinga Prize in 2009.

So far, 66 eminent scientists from 23 countries, including 5 Indians, have received the prize.

Seven Nobel Laureates have also been bestowed with the Kalinga Prize, Patnaik said.

Besides chief minister Naveen Patnaik, Union minister for science and technology and earth science Vilasrao Deshmukh and Union HRD minister Kapil Sibal will attend the function.

The Odisha chief minister congratulated Colin after his name was announced as the winner of the UNESCO Kalinga Prize, 2011.

This will be the first occasion that the UNESCO Kalinga Prize will be presented in the state, said KFT chairman B C Patnaik.

Earlier, the prize was being given either in Delhi or Paris, he said.

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA
BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS,
ODISHA

IN 10 YEARS 10 LAKH CRORE SWALLOWED

IN 10 YEARS 10 LAKH CRORE SWALLOWED 19/12/2011

ODISHA: Around Rs 10 lakh crore has been looted within 10 years in mines, forests, water, land, PDS, coal, NREGA, road and infrastructure in the state.

Basically mining scam became rampant in the State during Naveen Patnaik-led BJD government, veteran trade union leader Mayadhar Nayak informed at a press meet here on Sunday.
He said that he submitted a factual report regarding mining irregularities and plunder of minerals in Odisha before the Shah Commission during the panel’s recent visit to the mining areas to probe allegations on illegal mining.

Nayak said that corruption is at its peak in the mine areas of Sukinda valley, Baula and Kathapal, adding that out of 602 mines in the state, most of the mine areas are in the clutches of mafias.

He alleged that political leaders, bureaucrats and mines mafias have looted precious iron and chromite ores to the tune of hundreds of crores under the nose of the government.

Illegal export of ores from the state to other countries was not the work of a few but of a wide network active behind the scene, he pointed out.

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA
BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS,
ODISHA

DHAMARA PORT INAUGURATED BY CM ODISHA

DHAMARA PORT INAUGURATED BY CM ODISHA 19/12/2011

ODISHA: Chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Sunday inaugurated the all-weather Dhamara Port near Bhadrak.

Patnaik unveiled a stone plaque on the port jetty and went around to witness unloading operations from 180,000 tonne capacity vessel from Australia that had carried coal and berthed at the port on Saturday.

Among others, secretary, ministry of shipping, K Mohandas, state commerce and transport minister Sanjeeb Kumar Sahoo, tourism and culture minister Prafulla Samal, local MP Arjun Sethi, chief secretary Bijay Kumar Patnaik and Chief Executive Officer of the Dhamra Port Company Ltd (DPCL) Santosh Kumar Mohapatra were present on the occasion.

Speaking on the occasion, the chief minister said that Dhamara Port would act as a catalyst for the state's infrastructure development and economic prosperity.

Referring to the long history of maritime activities in the area, he said that Dhamara has got back its past glory of the rich maritime trade with the functioning of the second port in the state.

Way back in 1962, the first port was commissioned at Paradip during the tenure of his late father Biju Patnaik.

DPCL CEO DPCL thanked the state government, the district administration and people of Bhadrak district for their support in making the Dhamara Port project a dream come true.

The port was commissioned in a record time and it has adopted all sophisticated and modern technology which makes it one of the most cost-effective and efficient ports in the eastern India, he said.

The Dhamara Port is a 50:50 joint venture project of L&T and Tata Steel.

Its construction of the port had started in 2007, and it commenced commercial operation in May 2011.

Till date, more than 50 ships have berthed at the port jetty with import cargoes of about 2.7 million tonne which included coal and limestone.

In the first phase, the port has built two berths of 350-m-long each and it is equipped for an achievable discharge rate of 600,000 MT per day and loading rate of 1,00,000 MT per day of dry bulk cargos.

The port’s master plan envisages 13 berths, which would handle liquid, dry bulk, break bulk and containerised cargoes.

The port has a deep draft of 17.5 metre, which can handle cape size vessels up to 1,80,000 DWT capacity.

DPCL has built an 18-km channel to connect the port with deep sea and a 62-km fully-electrified rail link to connect the port with the Howrah-Chennai main line for transportation of cargoes.


SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA
BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS,
ODISHA

ONE MORE SAINIK SCHOOL IN ODISHA IS IN PIPELINE

ONE MORE SAINIK SCHOOL IN ODISHA IS IN PIPELINE 19/12/2011

Government has given an 'in- principle' approval to a request by three state governments to open new Sainik Schools and has asked them to transfer funds, build basic infrastructure and sign the Memorandum of Agreement, the Defence Ministry told the Rajya Sabha.


In a written reply to a question in the House on Sainik Schools, Defence Minister A K Antony said "proposals have been received from governments of Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh for setting up new Sainik Schools in Sambalpur, Sagar and Chitttoor districts respectively."


Home Secretary M S Padhi said that Odisha’s next sainik school will be at Goshala near to Sambalpur. The state government has decided to start the second sainik school. According to Home Secretary The process is going on.
According to Principal of Sainik School Bhubaneswar, Captain K S Noor the government has already identified 100 acres of land for the proposed school near Goshala, SAMBALPUR. Noor also said that Odisha state government would provide the land and Rs 70 crore for infrastructure. The Sainik School Board is in the process of signing MOU with the Odisha government for the school. Captain Noor also included in his speech that” We are hopeful the school will be functional within two years’ time”.

Sainik School Bhubaneswar was set up in February, 1962. It temporarily functioned from Blind School, Bhubaneswar and was finally shifted to the present sprawling campus in August, 1963. During the last 50 years, the school has churned out over 600 officers for Indian defence forces.

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA
BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS,
ODISHA

December 17, 2011

WHY ODISHA IS NOT DEVELOPING AS A STATE?

WHY ODISHA IS NOT DEVELOPING AS A STATE ? 17/12/2011

The Government of India’s National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO) in a report has released the well-being index of India. The same tell about the quality of life in India. This report has mentioned that six districts of Odisha being in the list of worst twenty districts of India. Rayagada district ranks the worst in India followed by Kandhamal, Nuapada, Bolangir, Koraput and Bargarh, all in Western and Southern part of the state, are ranked at 4,9,10 & 19 from the bottom respectively.

It has been many years since the Government. of India has been pumping thousands of Crores as special budget for the welfare of these districts of Western and Southern Odisha through scheme like KBK. Then how is it that after so many years of huge money inflow into these districts there is no change in statistics? Who is accountable for this mishap? Is the Chief functionary of the state not responsible for this?”

Odisha, one of the poorest of states in the Indian union, is inhabited by more than 24% of tribal population concentrated mostly in North-Western, Western and Southern part of the state. Due to the negligence of all successive state governments, the development of these three patches are far behind the Coastal Odisha tract by any parameter even though these regions are full of minerals and natural resources.

In two occasions, during 1936 and 1948, these tribal dominated Western and Southern regions amalgamated into then Odisha division (precisely the present Coastal Orissa) from erstwhile Central and Madras presidency of British ruled India respectively to form Odisha state in the line of linguistic similarities. But, reality is, till now the native people residing in these regions don’t know how to speak the state official language Odiya, which is practiced in Coastal Orissa districts in particular. Vast region of Western Orissa communicate in variants of Sambalpuri language (also termed as Kosli by some) and with numerous tribal languages practiced by the indigenous tribal population. This leads to poor enrolment in school which encourages Odiya as the medium of education and thus a high school dropout rate is seen in these regions. Students are forced to learn Odiya language in school which is different than what they practice in day to day life.

The differentiation between the then Odisha Division (Coastal Odisha) and the newly added Western and Southern regions is well maintained by all successive state Governments, while allocating funds and in developmental works.

Inhabited by app.50% of the state population (17,899,735 as per 2001 Census) and spread in 28.73% of total land of the state (44,355.4 Sq Km), this Coastal Odisha tract is given utmost priority by all the successive state governments and have been enjoying all sorts of developmental works in the name of Odisha. Where as a vast land with more than 71.27% of the total land area of Odisha state (109,992 Sq Km), and with a population of little above half of the state population is depriving basic needs.

It is pity that present state government too, has done nothing to minimize the gap between the coastal and the rest of Odisha in its decade long rule; but increasing it by concentrating every developmental activity in and around the state capital Bhubaneswar. During this government’s tenure, all the national institutes for higher studies and research sanctioned by the central government are established or proposed to establish in and around Bhubaneswar.

In recent development except for the Central University, all the educational and research institutes of national repute, such as Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS), National Institute of Science Education and Research (NISER), Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), etc awarded by Central Government for the entire state are located in and around Bhubaneswar. This has brought a distinction for Bhubaneswar as the only city in India to have an IIT, AIIMS and NISER at one location.

Central Government has also proposed to establish a National Innovative University (World Class), National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), ESI Medical College and Hospital, Railway Medical College in Bhubaneswar, and another IIIT in Berhampur in Coastal Orissa, neglecting the rest state.


If you consider the allotment of health facilities in the state the picture of disparities done towards the rest of the tribal regions of the state gets crystal clear. There is just one state run Medical College, viz, VSS Medical College & Hospital, Burla in Sambalpur for the entire Western Orissa, there are state run SCB Medical college in twin cities of Bhubaneswar - Cuttack , MKCG Medical College in Berhampur, a city just 179 Km from Bhubaneswar by Road and 165 Km by train.

Mahandi Coal Field Ltd. (MCL), a subsidiary of Coal India Ltd, a Central Government entity which has operation in Western as well as Central Odisha, is too establishing a Medical College Hospital in Talcher Town, 150 Km from state Capital Bhubaneswar, with state government’s active persuasion. The defense dept has proposed to set up a medical college in Baleswar, another town in Coastal Odisha with a distance of 198 Km by Road from Bhubaneswar.

State government has recently proposed to upgrade Capital Hospital in Bhubaneswar to a Medical College with a hoping budget of 32.5 Crores. It is also been proposed to set up Government. Medical College & Hospital in Baleswar where as the state government is trying to establish 3 Private Medical Colleges in backward tribal dominated Western Orissa in PPP mode since last 15 years through Western Odisha Development Council (WODC) with a financial grant of 5 Crores each. There is no progress seen in establishing these Medical colleges in these backward regions of Odisha.

So, a question instantly arises in mind, “Why private Medical College & Hospital for poor tribal region of Western Odisha, who can’t afford a full meal a day and central and state funded Government. Medical Colleges & Hospitals for Coastal Odisha?” Is this not pure discrimination?

It is to be noted that Balangir, Kalahandi, in this back ward Western Odisha, many times have created news in national media for starvation deaths. Low-income people in these backward districts can hardly afford the cost of good health care even for their children who suffer from early death, under nutrition and anemia. As against the State figure of 65 infant deaths per 1000 life births, district like Kalahandi in the Western Orissa had 119 infant deaths.

Prevalence of undernourishment among children is also high in these tribal dominating districts. The health situation is really gloomy if we look at maternal death rates. Women in these households work hard at home, in the fields, bear children and do not get the medical attention while giving birth to children.

Occurrence of malaria remains a threat to the people in the tribal areas. As many as 158 blocks in tribal districts, which contribute 70 per cent of the malarial cases, suffer the worst. Sometimes outbreak of mysterious diseases in these regions takes a heavy toll of life. Poverty and deprivation leave very little money with people to spend on the treatment of diseases and illness.

The state government is earning maximum revenue from these under developed tribal belts through mining and industries. When the industries are exploiting and polluting the region, are opening health care units and educational facilities in Coastal Odisha with state government’s active persuasion. The recent Vedanta group promoted World Class University in Puri- Konark Road with a budget of 15,000 Cr and in an area of 6,000 Acre sets the perfect example. Vedanta Industries Ltd has established two Aluminum plants in Western Orissa, the refinery unit and captive power plant at Lanjigarh in Kalahandi District and smelter plant with captive power plant at Jharsuguda, where as it is opening its 100 bed capacity burn and trauma care unit in Bhubaneswar, which is at a distance of 400 Km from Jharsuguda and more than 450 Km from Lanjigarh.

Hundreds of crores rupees received from central government in the name of KBK has become a source of exploitation for the state government. The head quarter of the KBK scheme is at the state capital Bhubaneswar, far away from the problems people are facing in their everyday life. This century of exploitation by all successive state government since the formation of the state in 1936, towards these tribal pockets has forced them to shout for a separate state of Kosal comprising 11 districts and a sub-division of Western Odisha. Also, the Maoist guerillas are spreading in rest tribal districts in rapid speed taking advantage of this. These entire exploitation stories remind the colonial era and raise some fundamental questions about democratic rights in India.


SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA,
BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS,
ODISHA

13 NEW POLICE STATION IN ODISHA APPROVED BY CENTRE

13 NEW POLICE STATION IN ODISHA APPROVED BY CENTRE 17/12/2011

ODISHA NEWS: The Centre will construct 13 new police stations in Odisha under Phase-II of Coastal Security Scheme.

This was stated by Union minister of state for home Mullappally Ramachandran in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha on Friday.

Construction of 131 Costal Police Station around the country from which Odisha will get 13, including up-gradation of existing 20 Police stations in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, have been approved under Coastal Security Scheme Phase-II.

Out of 131, sites for 109 coastal police stations have been selected by coastal States/UTs.
Land acquisition process has been started in 74 Coastal Police Stations.

Rs 15.76 crore has been released to coastal States/UTs for start up of the construction activities under this phase.

All coastal states have been requested by the Centre to expedite the construction of these police stations.

SIDDHARTHS SHANKAR MISHRA,
BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS,
ODISHA

13 NEW POLICE STATION IN ODISHA APPROVED BY CENTRE

13 NEW POLICE STATION IN ODISHA APPROVED BY CENTRE 17/12/2011

ODISHA NEWS: The Centre will construct 13 new police stations in Odisha under Phase-II of Coastal Security Scheme.

This was stated by Union minister of state for home Mullappally Ramachandran in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha on Friday.

Construction of 131 Costal Police Station around the country from which Odisha will get 13, including up-gradation of existing 20 Police stations in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, have been approved under Coastal Security Scheme Phase-II.

Out of 131, sites for 109 coastal police stations have been selected by coastal States/UTs.
Land acquisition process has been started in 74 Coastal Police Stations.

Rs 15.76 crore has been released to coastal States/UTs for start up of the construction activities under this phase.

All coastal states have been requested by the Centre to expedite the construction of these police stations.

SIDDHARTHS SHANKAR MISHRA,
BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS,
ODISHA

December 16, 2011

OPPOSITION DEMANDS JUDICIAL PROBE INTO POSCO VIOLENCE

OPPOSITION DEMANDS JUDICIAL PROBE INTO POSCO VIOLENCE 16/12/2011

ODISHA NEWS:

The Opposition on Thursday held the Odisha government responsible for the death of a man during a clash in the Posco steel plant site near Paradip in Jagatsinghpur district and demanded a judicial probe into the violence.

In separate statements, leaders of Congress, BJP, CPI, CPI-M, Forward Bloc, RJD and Samajwadi Party demanded complete halt to all project-related work including construction of coastal road to link the Posco site.

Hitting out at the ruling BJD over the incident, Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee president Niranjan Patnaik said that the state government, particularly chief minister Naveen Patnaik, was responsible for the violent clash.

There should be an impartial investigation, if possible a judicial enquiry, into the incident, he said adding till completion of probe no project-related work should be allowed in proposed Posco plant site.

At a joint press briefing, CPI state secretary Dibakar Nayak, Janardan Pati of the CPM, Santosh Mishra of Forward Bloc, Harish Mohapatra of the Rashtriya Janata Dal and Rabi Behera of Samajwadi Party said that despite Naveen Patnaik's claim about peaceful industrialisation, private militia was being used to terrorise people opposing Posco project.

Demanding a judicial probe into the violence, they said that till completion of the inquiry nobody associated with Posco work should be allowed to enter the area.

Attacking Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (IDCO) for awarding coastal road construction work to an agency without floating tender, the leaders said in the absence of any MoU or agreement with Posco at present, no project related work should be undertaken.

Senior BJP leader Ashok Sahu also slammed the state government for road construction work in the absence of MoU with the South Korean steel major.

BJP and Congress also sent two teams to the site of Wednesday's violence for a spot inquiry, while CPI organised demonstrations at Bhubaneswar, Puri, Ganjam and Gajapati.

A protest conclave was held by CPI, CPM, FB, RJD and SP at Patana in the proposed Posco project site against the violence.


SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA,
BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS,
ODISHA

EX BJD MLA RECEIVED WARM WELCOME

EX BJD MLA RECEIVED WARM WELCOME 16/12/2011

ODISHA NEWS: Former BJD minister and four-time MLA of Athgarh Ranendra Pratap Swain, who was not allowed to contest the 2009 Assembly elections on technical grounds, returned here on Thursday to a rousing welcome by supporters after winning a prolonged legal battle in the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court last week endorsed an Odisha High Court judgment and observed that the then Returning Officer of the constituency had hurriedly rejected the nomination papers of official BJD candidate without due application of mind.

The Court in June last year had nullified the 2009 Assembly polls of Athgarh in which Independent candidate Ramesh Rout had won with the backing of Swain.
The Court had ordered for a fresh poll in the constituency which was however challenged in the apex court by Rout.

Emerging triumphant in the legal tussle that spanned nearly two years and eight months, Swain as he is popularly called in political circles, reached here by train from New Delhi as hundreds of his supporters from Athgarh stormed into the railway station here.

As he alighted from train around 12.30 pm, the slogan-shouting supporters welcomed him with garlands and bouquets and taken around the city in a massive rally.
The procession party comprising over hundred vehicles then went to Athgarh, about 40 kms from here.

Briefing newsmen before leaving for Athgarh, Swain said that the apex court verdict was actually a triumph for the people of his constituency.
I will now go to the people of Athgarh and chalk out my next course of action as per their directions.

I am a creation of the people of Athgarh to serve them till my last breath, he said in a choked voice.
The rousing welcome to the BJD leader at the railway station, however, marked a stark contrast as not a single ruling party leader of stature was seen around.
Even the official BJD flag, which on such occasions is used abundantly, was conspicuous by their absence.
Someone, however, arranged one party flag, which Swain was seen very emotionally putting on his shoulder.

Swain indicated that he still is a disciplined party worker when he announced that he would visit the Lord Jagannath Temple at Puri after meeting the people of his constituency and then proceed on to meet party supremo and chief minister Naveen Patnaik.

But political observers feel that Swain may not get the BJD ticket in the by-poll in the constituency as a major power block in the party is opposed to him.
Others feel he is an automatic choice of the party as the official party ticket in the 2009 polls was given to him.

He is not suspended from the party nor has he quit the party, said a Swain supporter.
There is not even a single allegation of anti-party activity against him. So why should he be denied the party ticket, he asked.

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA,
BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS,
ODISHA

THE CONTROVERSIAL IAS OFFICER PRIYABRATA PATTNAIK WAS SHIFTED


THE CONTROVERSIAL IDCO CMD (IAS) PRIYABRATA PATTNAIK WAS SHIFTED 16/12/2011
ODISHA NEWS :-

Odisha CM Naveen Pattnaik has act tough on controversial and tainted Bureaucrat Priyabrata Pattnaik , who was the Nodal officer of POSCO and CMD of IDCO ( Odisha Industrial Development Corporation) has been shifted following the killing of a person in the project site few days back. He will now hold the Public Grievances and Pension Department.


IAS Pradeep Jena appointed as new CMD of IDCO.

The incident occurred when about 1500 anti Posco villagers demonstrating against the construction of Coastal sea road came face to face with workers and supporters of Paradip Paribhan, the construction Company building the road.


The villagers are protesting against the construction of the road, as it would link Posco’s proposed 12 billion dollar plant with its captive port.
Posco the world largest steel producer signed a MOU with the Odisha Government in June 2005 to set up 12 million tonne per annum Greenfield Plant. The MOU expired in 2010.

It should be noted that opposition parties earlier demanded the arrest of Priyabrata Patnaik , the chairman-cum-managing director of Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (Idco), which is the state-run agency responsible for the land acquisition of the Posco project.


It should be noted that earlier in this week due to the violence between the supporters and opponents of the Posco project near Paradip one person was killed and 25 others were injured.
The CM expressed his deep shock over the incident occurred in the plant site. “What happened at POSCO is tragic. I have already said I want a peaceful industrialization in the state, “the CM said.


IDCO CMD Priyabrata Pattnaik is transferred for illegally appointing a 'mafia contractor' to forcibly construct road for POSCO project. The govt. has cut lakhs of trees, displaced thousands of people and oppressing protesting poor people even though it has got no agreement with POSCO to set up a foreign company. Is this action sufficient? This senior IAS officer must be arrested immediately, retrenched from job and the worker who died due to clash between the goon contractor's man and protesting people must get compensated from this officer's retiral benefits. Can the govt. do this?

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA,
BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS,
ODISHA

December 15, 2011

EX BUREAUCRAT FARM HOUSE CONFISCATED

EX BUREAUCRAT FARM HOUSE CONFISCATED 15/12/2011

ODISHA: The Odisha government on Wednesday confiscated a farm house of a tainted retired IAS officer and converted it into a farmers’ training centre-cum-nursery, official sources said.

The farm house and land measuring 2.6 acres belonging to ex-IAS officer Ramesh Chandra Behera at Rangeilunda block in Ganjam district, was confiscated after he was convicted in a disproportionate asset case.

Behera was found guilty of amassing properties disproportionate to his known source of income, a senior vigilance official said, adding that a case under Prevention of Corruption Act was made against the IAS officer when he was the vice-chairman of Cuttack Development Authority (CDA).

We have taken possession of Behera's farm house and land. The place will function as a training centre for farmers of Ganjam and Gajapati districts.

Besides, a nursery will operate from the place, Chandrasekhar Patra, deputy director, horticulture, Ganjam district, said.

Behera was the second ex-IAS officer in Odisha whose property was confiscated and used for public purpose.

Earlier, the government had opened a homoeopathy hospital at the house of another ex-IAS officer Sanjib Kumar Ray in the state capital.

Chief minister Naveen Patnaik during Vigilance Week recently had announced that the state government would use confiscated properties of tainted officials for public purpose.

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA,
BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS,
ODISHA

CONGRESS WALKEDOUT FROM THE HOUSE OVER DECLARATION OF DROUGHT

CONGRESS WALKEDOUT FROM THE HOUSE OVER DECLARATION OF DROUGHT 15/12/2011


ODISHA: Demanding declaration of the dry spell in some districts as drought and a white paper on the situation, the Opposition Congress on Wednesday staged a walkout in the State Assembly even as the state government assured to take appropriate steps after getting crop cutting report from collectors.

The issue relating to the dry spell condition was discussed through an adjournment motion moved by the Congress.

While farmers are committing suicide due to crop loss in drought-affected districts, the state government has been delaying implementation of the relief code meant to help the people in distress, leader of Opposition Bhupinder Singh of Congress said before leading the walkout.

Though the state government was aware of the situation in certain districts, it should declare the calamity as drought without waiting for the crop cutting report, Congress chief whip Prasad Harichandan said, alleging that one Laxman Jagat (28) under Sinapalli block of Nuapada district had already died of starvation.

There is no point in declaring drought after death of people in starvation, Harichandan said adding that chief minister Naveen Patnaik had already held two review meetings and the government was armed with reports of the eye estimation survey on crop loss.

BJP legislature party leader KV Singhdeo said that the farmer suicide cases would increase if the government further delayed declaring certain districts as drought hit.

The ruling BJD members also admitted that the drought condition had affected the poor in about 16 of the 30 districts.

Replying to the debate, revenue and disaster management minister Surya Narayan Patra informed the House that the state government had already asked all the collectors to submit crop cutting report by January 15.

As per the relief code, the government can only declare certain area as drought-hit after getting crop cutting reports, the minister said.

Stating that the dry spell prevailed in 16 districts due to inadequate rainfall in July and August, the minister said normal rainfall was experienced in June.

The collectors have already submitted eye estimation survey report on the crop loss. This indicated that there had been crop loss above 50 per cent in 16 districts, Patra said.

Claiming that the government was not sittng idle, the minister said that the chief minister had already directed the district collectors to repair all lift irrigation points, supply subsidised seeds to farmers and allow authorities to create cross bundhs over rivers, nullahs and springs for facilitating irrigation, the minister said.

The minister assured the house that the government would not hesitate to declare districts as drought-hit where crop loss was 50 per cent or above that.

The districts which had been identified as drought affected as per the eye estimation survey report were: Angul, Bargarh, Bhadrak, Balangir, Boudh, Cuttack, Deogarh, Ganjam, Jharsuguda, Kalahandi, Koraput, Malkangiri, Nabarangpur, Nayagarh, Nuapada and Subarnapur.

While the eye estimation survey report of the state government claimed that there was drought in 16 districts, a report prepared by the National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) in October claimed that there was mild crop loss in 11 districts while moderate crop loss in only Balangir districts.

The crop condition in 18 other districts remained normal, the NRSC report said.

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA,
BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS,
ODISHA

December 14, 2011

ODISHA HUMAN RIGHT COMMISSION FAILS TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE MASSIVE VIOLATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN ODISHA

ODISHA HUMAN RIGHT COMMISSION FAILS TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE MASSIVE VIOLATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN ODISHA 14/12/2011


ODISHA NEWS :-


In the face of increasing number of human rights violations and a shocking absence of redressal mechanism HRLN (HUMAN RIGHT LAW NETWORK) and a number of civil society organizations today organized an Independent People’s Tribunal (IPT) to look into the functioning of the State Human Rights Commission with regard to addressing human rights issues brought to their notice by a number of victims from across the state.


The state of Orissa has witnessed large number of human rights violations over the past few decades and as the protector and safeguards ‘The Orissa State Human Rights Commission’ completely failed to discharge its duty towards the people, was the common echo during the meet. In the neo-liberal economic era the rights have been grossly violated and the victims have not been protected.

Over 25 victims, many of them women, tribals and dalits, hailing from over many districts of Orissa narrated the horrific tales of torture the state police forces and negligence of other government officials followed by the Orissa Human Rights Commission. The cases were presented by victims of Kandhamal riots, Posco displacement, gender violence and other poor and marginalized of Orissa where the commission has not served justice in a single case despite grave violation. The victims deposed before a panel comprising eminent persons Just. (Retd.) Chaudhury P.K. Mishra, Just. (Retd.) Himadri Mahapatra, Ms. Namrata Chadha (Former Member Orissa Women Commission) and Dr. John Dayal (Member of National Integration Council).


The panel, after hearing testimonies, made the following as part of the interim observations-

1. Understandably most of the complaints to the commission are against the police both for the acts of omission and commission and it is here that the OSHRC fails to meet the expectation of the people and the spirit of the Act.


2. Due diligence by the district courts, the police and the administration hierarchy, as also the human rights the defenders to follow up the cases with the OSHRC and NHRC.


3. The Protection of Human Rights Act should be modified in order to make the Orissa Human Rights Commission an effective, autonomous, independent institution. The act should also allow for more power to the commission to prosecute alleged perpetrators and take punitive action. Members should be appointed regularly and the number of members in the commission should be increased. Higher funding is also necessary for the functioning for compensation and relief measures.


4. Due respect should be given to the Paris Principles.


5. The Orissa Human Rights Commission should have its own investigative wing composed by personnel independent from the security forces. It should have a special investigative team (SIT) for the investigation of cases pertaining to SC/ST and women.


6. Irrespective of the criminal proceedings the commission should look into the aspect of human rights violation of the victim.

7. The Orissa Human Rights Commission should be transparent in its functioning.

8. Human Rights Court should be established as per the Protection of Human Rights Act.


9. Appointment of commission members should include civil society and NGOs.


Consultation with the civil society at different levels of functioning is necessary. The appointment shouldn’t be influenced by the politicians.


10. Victims should reapply to the HRC if relief has not come in and take recourse to the High Courts and Supreme Court in case of HRC inaction.


11. SHRC can press police to enforce court orders and also to assign unbiased officials where police force itself is compromised or if members of the force are guilty of human rights violations. Victims must ask the HRC to do so.

12. OSHRC should be accessible to all the marginalized and the poor.

13. Enquiry should be speedy and reports should be in public domain.


14. The commission should hold human rights training camps and group hearings in sensitive areas thereby not being static in capital but be available to the people at the grassroots. This will serve an encouragement to the people and caution to the state forces thereby increasing the respect for the rule of law and people’s faith in the commission. As an organization that can only give direction its strength lies in peoples backing of it as a constitutional structure important to democracy.



The meeting started with the welcome and introduction by the coordinator of HRLN Bhubneshwar Mr. Santosh Kumar Das who explained the purpose of the IPT in the context of the prevailing human rights situation in Orissa. Harsh Dobhal, Director of HRLN in his introductory remarks explained the objective of such an exercise at a time when India was projecting its image abroad as the largest democracy committed to protection of human rights. He said such tribunals would be conducted in 18 states and at national level and a comprehensive report on the functioning of these commissions would either expose them to public scrutiny or creates pressure on these institutions and government to discharge their duties effectively, in order to strengthen Indian Democracy.


There is no transparency in the appointments and the commission has become bureaucratic enclave favoring the government while no civil society members are a part of it. Mr. Manoj Jena explained in details the gross violation of human rights by the security forces and constant victimization of the poor in the state. He further mentioned complete negligence of the commission in protecting the human rights of the poor. Mr. Praful Samantrai gave deep insights about the functioning of the commission and expressed the facts and reasons about the activists not approaching the commission for justice. The commission has failed in its objective and is acting like a postman and an extended hand of the state.


A case presented from Kandhamal depicted police inaction after the violence. When the victims went to the police station to lodge a complaint against the injustices the action by police only proceeded after a gap of 10 days. When the petition was made to the Governor an enquiry was ordered and report to be submitted to the commission within 8 weeks as per the order dated 5.5.2009. till then despite more than two and a half years the commission has not acted even once.


In another tragic testimony from Posco a Beatle cultivator had complained to the commission stating that his land has been acquired illegally as it falls in the proximity of the Posco project. Illegal land and forest acquisitions have been on rampant progress. When approached the commission, an enquiry was ordered and nothing proceeded thereafter. The commission has been silent in the issue for long.

The silence of the commission in grave instances of human rights had emerged to forefront during the tribunal. The commission is either knowingly silent or the pleas are falling on the deaf ears. Taking a stand with the accused in most of the cases and not having an independent enquiry the commission has clearly taken sides with the state. The reaction of the commission to the complaints from Posco and Vedanta clearly reflects the hidden propaganda of supporting the state and the corporate. Justice for the poor is constantly denied and hence they are further victimized by the commission because of its inaction.

Victims of different types of human rights violations and from all the regions of the state testified about ineffective justice delivery from the commission. Commission on many occasions has failed to protect the right of the victim and succumbed to the pressure of the state. In case of police torture and custodial death the commission has directed the same police to conduct the investigation. The IPT was organized by Human Rights Law Network in collaboration with several civil society organizations in the state.

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA,
BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS,
ODISHA