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April 28, 2012

Coordinated policy approach needed to deal with Maoist Menace said Lok Sabha MP BJ Panda

Coordinated policy approach needed to deal with Maoist Menace said Lok Sabha MP BJ Panda 29/04/2012

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA,BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS ODISHA

ODISHA NEWS:



Biju Janata Dal Lok Sabha MP Baijyant 'Jay' Panda says a coordinated policy approach is the need of the hour to deal with the Maoist menace. In the backdrop of recent instances of Maoist abductions, the state and the centre have fallen short of a tactical response.


Here Mr. Panda feels that India needs a comprehensive policy on hostage crisis management. Arguing in favour of both a security and developmental approach from the centre and state, he has identified the lack of road and rail networks in the Maoist affected areas as one of the key reasons that constrain economic development reaching these areas which in turn help fuel Maoist propaganda and radicalization. He has urged the union government to develop rail infrastructure in Naxal affected areas.

He said despite the decline in the cases of Maoist related incidents in state, high profile cases of abduction make picture look more uglier. High profile cases like abduction of Vineel Krishna in 2011 and 2 Italians and MLA Hikaka this year give impression that everything is going wrong. He accepts that this is a matter of big concern but feels that everything is not going wrong. He has defended Odisha government's multi-pronged initiatives to deal with Maoists and is confident that in future a coordinated policy approach will help in dealing with such situations.

Over tackling this issue, he said government has to follow and implement the already pronounced two pronged strategy. Some people argue it is only a security issue and some other assert that it is a developmental one. But in reality it is both. He refuted the charges that Odisha Government is not doing enough developmental work in the tribal region. He asked if government did not work on development how could Maoists incidence drop down in these areas. Both developmental works taken up and security strengthened by the government has contributed to the dramatic decrease of Maoists incidents. He wants us to take note of the road project undertaken in tribal districts and how there has been push up in this regard in last few years. CM Naveen Patnaik personally perusing at the Prime Minister's level for a major highway to cut through all the way to Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh that would touch all the tribal districts in that region. Mr. Panda wants to draw our attention to look at the improved connectivity between Western Odisha and coastal Odisha. It is true that there has been significant improvement in recent years. In last few years government has constructed a number of bridges and improved road condition in Tribal districts.

Over the issue of negligence of Centre, he said that, we need joint action with the central government to tackle this menace. He elaborated on the important point of lack of rail connection in the areas that have been affected by Maoist operations. All Maoist districts have this thing in common; no rail network. Mr. Panda made it clear that we don't need Railways just for the industry but for common people of these areas. He further expands the need of railways for farming and strongly believes that farming economy of Western Odisha and KBK districts will be become much more sustainable once we have infrastructure and connectivity like road and rail.


Mr. Panda's research establishes that Odisha has one of the low density rail networks per square kilometer in comparison to some of her neighbours. This is not very well known in the public. This does not come as a surprise as successive railway ministers have given scant attention to Odisha's needs and problems. The Kendrapara MP strongly feels the need to remedy this anomaly. In addition, he revealed that Odisha has asked the centre for more helicopters and more troops. Arguing in favour of a joint and coordinated policy approach to deal with hostage situations, Mr. Panda advocates to learn from our own and other international models. He strongly believes that India with its inclusive economic growth and democratic public sphere has enough space for dissent. However, India needs be to ready to tackle Maoist violence and for this he wants to send an urgent call to the government and all other stakeholders to develop a comprehensive policy so as to discourage Maoist violence and hostage situations.

LAWYERS AGITATION HITS THE LITIGANTS AND JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS


LAWYERS AGITATION HITS THE LITIGANTS AND JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS 28/04/2012

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA,BUREAU CHIEF,THESE DAYS,ODISHA
ODISHA NEWS:




Proceedings were disrupted in Orissa High Court as lawyers continued their cease-work Friday demanding immediate withdrawal of cases registered against members of the Sambalpur Bar Association.

Eighteen lawyers were arrested in Sambalpur yesterday for allegedly manhandling district collector Mrinalini Darswal and ransacking her official residence on April 23.

Darswal has urged the State Commission for Women to intervene in the case. The commission’s chairperson Jyoti Panigrahi has said she would send a fact-finding team to inquire into the matter. The lawyers were also accused of assaulting the district sub-registrar on the same day.

The lawyers, on the other hand, accused the district collector of misbehaving with them and using abusive language.

The lawyers, who had boycotted the high court proceedings during the post-lunch session yesterday in protest, abstained from attending court today.

Several litigants were affected, as the lawyers did not attend court proceedings for the day.

The court could not proceed with Balangir-based archer Ardhendu Narayan Behera’s petition for contempt proceedings against former state excise commissioner Sudarshan Nayak for non-compliance of court order related to sale of country liquor in polythene packs in 21 districts.

“The court was to decide on the question of framing contempt charges against him for non-compliance of order for enforcement of guidelines issued by the excise department in 2009, as Nayak had already filed his reply to a showcause notice,” Behera’s counsel said.

When Nayak was excise commissioner, the high court in its order issued on November 3 last year expected him to ensure enforcement of the guidelines that made mandatory the mention of name of manufacturers, strength of the liquor, quantity of liquor and code number identification mark of the shop approved in the poly packs along with statutory warning.
Nayak was transferred and posted as director in the general administration department on February 13 after the Cuttack and Khurda hooch tragedy.

More than 400 cases listed before different benches of the high court could not be taken up for hearing. More than 65 bail applications could not be taken up for hearing. Several leftover cases from the weekly list drawn up on Monday also went without hearing.

The court also could not proceed with Durmila Sahoo’s petition seeking a CBI probe into death of her son Nabhagana Sahoo (chairman of Hindol block panchayat samiti) on May 14 last year.

Secretary of the High Court Bar Association Piyush Mishra said: “Our future course of action will be decided on Monday after submission of a report by a fact-finding team of our association.”

The cease-work by lawyers also disrupted court proceedings in criminal courts, civil courts, board of revenue, state administrative tribunal, central administrative tribunal and debt recovery tribunal in Cuttack.

In another development, a team of the state crime branch police has arrived at Sambalpur to investigate into the April 23 tussle between the collector and lawyers.

An eight-member team met the local superintendent of police and additional superintendent of police.

Sources said the team had visited the office of the district sub-registrar also. Yesterday, the police had arrested 18 lawyers based on the complaint lodged by the collector and district sub-registrar. However, the lawyers were later released.

A fact-finding team, led by the High Court Bar Association president Jayanta Dash and head of All Odisha Lawyers’ Association Dharanidhar Naik also visited Sambalpur on Friday.
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The visiting team condemned the April 23 incident as “unfortunate” and demanded a judicial inquiry into it.

The lawyers of Sambalpur also decided to stage a demonstration in front of the office of the revenue divisional commissioner today demanding arrest and suspension of the collector. The members of Sambalpur Bar Association also decided to observe Lawyers’ Day as “black day” by wearing black badges.

On the other hand, the government employees of Sambalpur district, who had resorted to cease-work demanding action against the lawyers, have decided to resume work from today.

Nirmala a lady naxalite surrenders before Malkangiri SP

Nirmala a lady naxalite surrenders before Malkangiri SP 28/04/2012

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA,BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS,ODISHA

ODISHA NEWS/MALKANGIRI



30-year-old Nirmala alias Nande Sodi, Deputy Commander of Poplur and Kalimela Naxal Dalam, also gave up arms in Malkangiri district on Friday. Nirmala was allegedly working for nearly 10 years for the extremist group.

A Maoist leader involved in many crimes in Odisha and Andhra Pradesh, Nirmala surrendered before Deputy Inspector General of Police (South-Western Range), Sunabeda, Soumendra Priyadarshi.

Nirmala, who belongs to Kurup village in the district, was drafted as a cadre about 10 years ago, Malkangiri Superintendent of Police Aniruddha Singh said. Her husband Prabin, who was Commander of the Poplur Naxal Dalam, had surrendered before the police on April 4.

Nirmala said the Maoists have deviated from their basic ideology. Moreover, there is strong ill-feeling between the cadres of Odisha and those from outside.

Nirmala would be rehabilitated as per the package provided by the State Government for surrendered Maoists, DIG Priyadarshi said.

April 27, 2012

ODISHA GOVERNMENT HAS A SIGH OF RELIEF AFTER THE RELEASE OF HIKAKA


ODISHA GOVERNMENT HAS A SIGH OF RELIEF AFTER THE RELEASE OF HIKAKA 27/04/2012

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA,BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS,ODISHA
ODISHA NEWS/BHUBANESWAR:



Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik expressed his happiness over release of Lakshmipur MLA Jina Hikaka. "I am very glad and relieved that Hikaka is released after 34 days of captivity. I am sure the entire State is extremely happy," said an elated Patnaik.


"I am very happy that the Jhina Hikaka is on his way to his family in Lakshmipur. Two weeks ago I was with his family in Lakshmipur in our Koraput district. And his mother, an old lady, was extremely distressed, as you can imagine and recently has been unwell. And his wife, his two small children were in great distress and very anxious," said Patnaik.

"So, all I can say is I am very glad. We are relieved, all of us, I am sure in the entire beautiful state of ours are extremely relieved that he is freed today to go back to his wife, his two sons and to his mother," he added.


On the otherhand the opposition criticised the state government's role in handling BJD MLA Jhina Hikaka hostage crisis, even as it welcomed the release of the legislator after 33 days of captivity. "We are happy that the MLA has been set free but the episode has exposed the rapidly worsening law and order situation. It seems the government does not exist in Orissa," Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee chief Niranjan Patnaik said.


BJP president Jual Oram said, "it is good that the tribal MLA is now free but it shows the state government has failed to perform its duty...All tall claims made by the state government about working for the welfare and uplift of tribals have been proved hollow."


Ending the 34-day hostage ordeal, the Andhra-Odisha Border Special Zonal Committee of the CPI(Maoist) had finally set the ruling Biju Janata Dal MLA Jhina Hikaka free on Thursday sans any mediation, as the State Government heaved a sigh of relief. Hikaka who was left by the Maoists in the hands of the people of a small village near Balipeta, reached the earmarked spot located under the remote Nayaranpatna block in the Koraput district at 10.30 am.

April 26, 2012

Lawyers are now law breakers


The cause may be good ... but the action shows quite alarming. If the means is not good , how you go for a good need. Things has to done democratically. First important thing is that whoever done the action either both side... Being an IAS officer , she is a lady and women in India are respected not paraded on the road openly. It is a sheer mockery on our democratic set up . It seems how our system works. Now it is again going to be a politics.There is a black-sheep in every community and Advocates are no different. There is a caucus between politicians and lawyers.Anti-social elements, agents of a political party and politicians unleashing terror to destabilize already deteriorating relation between police-judiciary and administration...........I have seen this kind of violent behavior by lawyers a number of times.

Maoists Release Abducted BJD MLA Jhina Hikaka

Maoists Release Abducted BJD MLA Jhina Hikaka 26/04/2012

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA, BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS, ODISHA
ODISHA NEWS/BHUBANESWAR


Maoists Thursday released Odisha legislator Jhina Hikaka in the state’s Koraput district after holding him captive for more than a month.

Reporters and photographers surrounded a relieved and healthy looking Hikaka as he came with a group of villagers to a mango garden at Balipeta, over 500 km from here, at about 10.30 a.m.

Emotions ran high when the 37-year-old Biju Janata Dal (BJD) legislator, wearing a green kurta, hugged his wife Kaushalya and seconds after both broke down in tears. He said he was in good condition and the rebels had treated him well.

Replying to a question from a reporter at the site on whether he had given an undertaking to the rebels that he would resign from the assembly and from the BJD, Hikaka said, “You will come to know about it.”

“We’re glad that he is safe and unharmed,” party colleague Baijayant Panda told reporters.

The leftwing extremists, who kidnapped Hikaka from Laxmipur in Koraput March 24, had Wednesday announced that a ‘praja’, people’s, court decided to release him after he apologised to the rebels and the local villagers.

A Maoist leader calling herself ‘Aruna’, in an audio message aired by a local television channel here, had said the decision to release him was taken after he promised to resign from the assembly and the primary membership of the ruling BJD.

"Hikaka will put in his papers after his release and has given a written undertaking to this effect in the 'praja court. He is all right and in good health," said Maoist leader Aruna of the Andhra-Odisha Border Special Zonal Committee (AOBSZC) in an audio message to the media.

Strong action against lawyers over misbehaving collector :IAS officers of Odisha demand

Strong action against lawyers over misbehaving collector :IAS officers of Odisha demand 26/04/2011

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA, BUREAU CHIEF,THESE DAYS,ODISHA

ODISHA NEWS/BHUBANESWAR


IAS officers delegation today meets Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and demanding strong action against the culprits who misbehaved with and manhandled the Sambalpur Collector, Mrinalini Darswal, and assaulted the sub-registrar. The lawyers enforced a dawn-to-dusk bandh in the town, demanding transfer of the Collector and the district sub-registrar.

The IAS officers met the Chief Minister in his Secretariat office chamber under the leadership of IAS Officers Association president Priyabrat Patnaik and secretary Madhusudan Padhi and handed him a memorandum expressing solidarity with the action of the Collector and demanding strong legal action against the errant lawyers.

Padhi told mediapersons that they appreciate the action of the Collector in supporting the sub-registrar who was assaulted by the lawyers in his office. The Chief Minister assured the bureaucrats that the law would take its own course.

On the other hand, the 12-hour bandh called by the lawyers in Sambalpur passed off peacefully on Wednesday. The bandh was in response to Tuesday’s vast rally of the Government employees demanding exemplary action against the errant advocates “who misbehaved with the Collector and manhandled the sub-registrar”.

All Government offices, banks and commercial establishments in the town remained closed for the whole day. But in view of the HSC examination and other examinations in colleges, the educational institutions were spared from the bandh. However, emergency services like medicals and similar institutions remained open in the interest of the people. Railway service was also functioning normally.

Keeping in view the prevailing tension, police had deployed 25 platoons of forces and 80 senior officers were on duty in all sensitive places including the office of the Collector, RDC, Sub-Collector and all other important Government offices.

April 24, 2012

Odisha Government shocked: Attack on Sambalpur Dist Collector


Odisha Government shocked: Attack on Sambalpur Dist Collector 24/04/2012

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA, BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS,ODISHA

ODISHA NEWS/SAMBALPUR:


An untoward incident occurred in the Major City of Western Odisha when the lawyers of Sambalpur Bar Association attacked on District Collector Mrinalini Jaiswal with sleepers, boots & by stones. The Odisha state government has came into shock from this news of the attack on District Collector Dr. Mrinalini Jaiswal by the lawyers of Sambalpur .

By taking the issue of increasing in land registration fees with this the WESCO (Western Electricity Supply Company) matter, the lawyers attacked on Sambalpur DM with this ransacked by entering the residential premises of DM & Collector office. After police intervention the DM saved her life any kind. Before this the lawyers went to Sub-registry office by taking the same issue of controversy and even sabotage there. After this incident a large number of police personnel have been the deployment in the area. In this case both sides have been written complaint at the police station & counter-charges regime has also begun.

The incident occurred as, when the members of Sambalpur Bar Association first arrived in the registry office. There they wanted to know the cause of price increased in the land registration from registrar Srikant Beura .Here the lawyers started to raise a ruckus while not getting a proper reply & after this they sabotage the Sub-Registry Office & attempt was made to beat the registrar. This incident's information has been given by registrar to DM on the phone .From this place the lawyers get on a bus to Siege the office of WESCO against power cuts .At the same time DM Mrinalini came to the spot & get direct into bus. The DM Mrinalini said the lawyers not to siege the WESCO Office. She also said that this will worsen the law –system. Followed by debate began among lawyers and the DM & the case has worsened .After this lawyers started losing temper & sabotage DM House & office.

According to Sambalpur DM Dr.Mrinalini Jaiswal “Ask the reason for the sabotage in Registrar's office & not to go WESCO office ,the Lawyer Association’s member threw sleepers, boots & stones on her with this they used verbal abuse & done misbehaved with me .The members of Lawyer Association also have done demolition on Government house. Between the police protection she could get out safely. I will take this case to higher officials of the Department”

April 22, 2012

Maoists Make Fresh Demand for the Release of Abducted BJD MLA Jhina Hikaka

Maoists Make Fresh Demand for the Release of Abducted BJD MLA Jhina Hikaka 22/04/2012Siddhartha Shankar mishra, Bureau Chief, These Days, OdishaOdisha News/ Bhubaneswar:

Maoist rebels holding Odisha legislator Jhina Hikaka hostage for more than three weeks Saturday demanded the release of all members of Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangh (CMAS) in exchange for his release.

The rebels had earlier sought the release of 29 prisoners, mostly members of the CMAS, which works mainly in the southern parts of the state, including Malkangiri and Koraput districts, on tribal-related issues.


The state government agreed to release 25 of them but the guerrillas rejected the offer and announced to decide the fate of Hikaka in a peoples’ court April 25.


Expressing anger over the way the state had responded to their demand, rebel leader Daya, in a statement, said that the government had done nothing that could help arrive at a solution.

“If the state government is interested in freeing the MLA (member of the legislative assembly), they must first release all of them (members of CMAS),” he said in the statement written in Telugu and received by some reporters here.

“We oppose the government’s policy and approach. We also condemn the delay caused by the government in the matter of releasing the prisoners,” he said.He also demanded a complete halt on the operations against the Maoists.

Hikaka, who represents Laxmipur constituency, was kidnapped by the Andhra-Odisha border special zonal committee of the Communist Party of India-Maoist in his home district of Koraput March 24.


A CMAS leader said around 150 members of the organization were languishing in jails of both the districts since past several months and facing trial.

April 19, 2012

India successfully test fires 5000KM range ICBM Agni-V from Odisha coast

India successfully test fires 5000KM range ICBM Agni-V from Odisha coast 19/04/2012

ODISHA/BHUBANESWAR:

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA,BUREAU CHIEF,THESE DAYS,ODISHA



India successfully test fires 5000KM range the inter-continental ballistic missile Agni-V from Wheeler Island, Dhamara in Odisha coast. The surface-to-surface missile, Agni-V, which can carry a payload of 1 tonne, is 17-metre long, and 2-metre wide and weighs 50 tonnes.

Agni-5 is a three-stage, all solid fuel powered missile with multiple independent targetable re-entry vehicle (MIRV) which means the missile can target several areas simultaneously with one-tonne nuclear warhead. The three-stage solid-fuelled Agni-V will be put into test for the first time with some advance and indigenous technology with the support of a canisterised mobile launcher, informed sources, adding that for tracking and monitoring the predetermined trajectory of the missile, sophisticated radars as well as telemetry stations have been positioned at different locations.


After hectic preparations, including obtaining of requisite clearances from various wings and range integration DRDO test-fired Agni-V from the LC-IV of the ITR at Wheeler Island off the Odisha coast on Wednesday (April 19). The maiden flight test of Agni-5, was postponed on Wednesday due to bad weather. With this India joins the select band of elite countries in the world to have the technology of ICBM.


The country already has Agni-I with around 700-km strike range, Agni-2 with nearly 2,000 km, Agni-III and IV with about 3,000 plus km-range.

April 15, 2012

Maoists Extend Deadline to April 18 to Release Abducted BJD Legislator

Maoists Extend Deadline to April 18 to Release Abducted BJD Legislator 15/04/2012

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA,BUREAU CHIEF,THESE DAYS,ODISHA

ODISHA NEWS/BHUBANESWAR:




The Andhra-Odisha Border Special Zonal Committee (AOBSZC), that had claimed the responsibility for BJD MLA Jhina Hikaka’s abduction have set April 18 as the deadline for the Government to meet their demands in exchange for the release of Hikaka whom they have held captive for over 20 days.

A Maoist leader who calls herself Aruna said in a statement sent to some local reporters on Sunday that the government has to release 29 prisoners in Balipeta village of Koraput district on April 18.

Later, the AOBSZC issued an audio message in Telugu in this regard. The Maoists want all charges against 29 prisoners, including the 23 who figure in the government’s list of to-be-released prisoners, to be dropped before they can consider releasing the MLA.

The rebels, who initially wanted 30 prisoners to be freed, have also scaled down their demand by not insisting on the release of rebel leader Chenda Bhusanam alias Ghasi, who faces charges of killing more than 55 security personnel.

The new deadline from the rebels came days after the government said it cannot release Ghasi as he faced grievous charges.

Hikaka, the 37-year-old legislator from Laxmipur, was kidnapped by the Andhra-Odisha border special zonal committee of the Communist Party of India-Maoists in Koraput district March 24.

The Maoists had earlier announced an April 10 deadline for the government.

The government had appealed for the legislator’s release, but there was no response from the rebels in the past few days.

The people whose release the rebels have sought in exchange for the legislator are mostly members of Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangh (CMAS), an organization working in the southern parts of the state, including in Malkangiri and Koraput districts, on tribal-related issues.

The rebels said they had been booked on false charges. Police however say the organization has Maoists support.

April 14, 2012

NAVEEN MEETS THE FAMILY MEMBERS OF THE ABDUCTED MLA

NAVEEN MEETS THE FAMILY MEMBERS OF THE ABDUCTED MLA 14/04/2012

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA,BUREAU CHIEF,THESE DAYS,ODISHA

ODISHA NEWS/BHUBANESWAR:


Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik meets the family members of the abducted Laxmipur MLA Jhina Hikaka. He assured them that the Government would take all possible steps to secure his release from the clutches of the Maoists. The Chief Minister today went to the house of the MLA at Laxmipur during his Koraput visit. The MLA was kidnapped by Maoists on March 23.


The Chief Minister’s visit to Koraput assumed significance at a time when the rival insurgent group, which has abducted Hikaka, has asked the Government to fulfill their demands, particularly release of 30 prisoners, including the dreaded Ghasi, immediately and threatened that failing this the fate of the MLA would be decided in a praja court.

During the meeting, Patnaik also discussed various development issues and problems of the area and later went to Laxmipur to meet the family members of the abducted MLA, said Home Secretary UN Behera.

However, Hikaka’s wife Kaushalya during the meeting said it had been 21 days and there was no news of her husband since his abduction. She appealed to the Chief Minister to take steps to ensure safe release of her husband from the Maoists’ custody.

April 13, 2012

A SIGH OF RELIEF AND A GALA DAY FOR THE ITALIAN HOSTAGE PAOLO BOSUCO

A SIGH OF RELIEF AND A GALA DAY FOR THE ITALIAN HOSTAGE PAOLO BOSUCO 13/04/2012

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA, BUREAU CHIEF,THESE DAYS,ODISHA

ODISHA NEWS/BHUBANESWAR:



The Italian national Paolo Bosusco who was freed by his Maoist abductors in Kandhamal district and brought over to the state capital today evening left for New Delhi. Paolo to go to Italy from the national capital.


It should be noted that on Thursday morning Sabyasachi Panda, handing over Italian national Paolo Bosusco to Dandapani Mohantynear Raikia in Phulbani district. The Maoist leader handed over the Puri-based Italian operator Paolo after Dandapani Mohanty gave a copy of the joint statement of the three government officials and the two Maoist-nominated mediators to Sabyasachi Panda. Dandapani Mohanty brought over Paolo Bosusco to the State Guest House in the capital by road all the way from Raikia.

Paolo , 58 years old said he had spent 21 years in Odisha and across India , he is feeling Noslagic while going back to his own country.He was running a travel agency named Odisha Adventurous Trekking at Puri. He could not camouflage his emotions saying ,” Odia people will always remain close to him.”
He further thanked the Odisha Government and the Indian Authorities and the Ambassador of Italy.
Paolo straight away denied that he along with Conlangelo was trying to photograph the tribals. Actually he was feeling ashamed of being deported to his country, he liked the Odias very much and he became a one with their culture.


After his arrival Paolo said to media that, "I am fine. I was treated well." Paolo told the media that he would soon return to his motherland. He said, "The Odias and Odisha hold special place in my heart.' He He was however not allowed to meet the media persons who were waiting outside and ushered in to meet the Italian ambassador Giacomo Sanfelice di Monteforte and consul general Joel Nechiori who were waiting for him.

Paolo was kidnapped with another Italian national Claudio Colangelo on March 14 in Daringbadi area while trekking in the jungles. The Maoists had earlier freed Claudio on March 25.

THOUSANDS ACRES OF BOODAN LAND WILL BE RESTORED IN ODISHA

THOUSANDS ACRES OF BOODAN LAND WILL BE RESTORED IN ODISHA 13/04/2012

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA,BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS,ODISHA

ODISHA NEWS/BHUBANESWAR:


The Odisha government has decided to restore thousands of acres of Bhoodan land in the state. Revenue and disaster management minister Surya Narayan Patro on Wednesday directed the collectors and tehsildars to submit a status report on Bhoodan land in three months. Briefing newsmen after presiding over a high-level meeting held at the State Secretariat here, the minister said the land earmarked to be handed over to Bhoodan Yagna Samitee (BYS) has not been done yet.

Out of about 58,000 acres of Bhoodan land, only 10,000 acres of land are now under government control. The status of remaining 48,000 acres is not clear. Major portion of the land have allegedly been encroached. Patra said that after getting the status of the land from the Collectors and Tehsildars, physically verification will be carried out.

If the Bhoodan land is found to be encroached, steps will be taken to evict the land grabbers, he added. The officials have been directed to file status report of 16,000 acres of land every month. It may be noted here that Bhoodan movement was launched in the state in 1952. Though a total of five lakh acres of Bhoodan was targeted to be collected by movement leader Vinoba Bhave, 1.2 lakh acres were acquired.

In course of time, the land was encroached by land mafia. Last year, the state government had banned registration of Bhoodan land.

Regarding grabbing of Bhoodan land by Odisha Engineering College, it was revealed at the meeting that the College encroached about 50 acres. Three cases of encroachment have been filed against the college authorities.

It was also revealed at the meeting that a mobile tower constructed in government land at Penthakata in Puri had been demolished.

Similarly, about 110 cases of land encroachment have been filed in Siddha Mahavira area. Besides the Bhoodan land, illegal mining was also discussed at the meeting. The collectors of Puri, Khurda, Cuttack, Jajpur and Nayagarh districts have been issued notices to take action against illegal mining.

April 12, 2012

Youth and Politics

Youth Politics is a category which involves or otherwise impacts the Youth. It was first identified in the American Politics with the formation of the American Youth Congress in the 1930s. Omar Abdullah’s recent speech in parliament on the confidence motion started with, “I am an INDIAN first and Muslim second”; and brought the focus on the importance of the Youth in bringing new ideas, freshness and transparency in the Indian politics. One of the stories that unforgettably describes India’s tragedy is- “The mother of India had two sons. One knew how to run (the country), but went to fly and met his end; the other knew how to fly, but went to run the country and met his end.” Symbolically, that has always been India’s problem– misallocation of resources and incapable leaders at zenith.



It is true that with age comes experience, but the likes of B-School graduates like Sachin Pilot, Milind Deora and others like Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Vadra and Jyotiraditya Scindia add life and a fresh set of ideas to the decision making bodies. Bharat Uday Mission is one outfit of IITians who are planning to enter in politics at a certain point of time. The Indian Army started new programs last year to attract the Youth in the army. There are movies promoting Youth in politics, like Yuva, RDB, etc.



Omar Abdullah, 38, was sworn in as India’s youngest Chief Minister in the New Year. Barack Obama is just 47. A prominent stage in Youth involvement came in the form of call given by then Prime Minister, Mr. Rajiv Gandhi. One of the most violent phases of Youth politics came with the attempted self-immolation by Rajiv Goswami, in protest against the implementation of Quota system under the Mandal Commission.



For our generation, politics, as a career, comes way down the career-option list. Rampant corruption, criminalization of politics, lack of accountability, lack of family and peer support, etc. are some of the reasons behind this. In UK, Tony Blair retires at 58 while in India, the chief posts are mostly occupied by the politicians above 50, rather 60. Another reason is the misrepresentation of the Youth as `cool, young and happening’. Very few people possess a voter identification card and an iota of them actually go to vote, all of which result in a degraded majority and a wrong party on power. “Nobody will ever deprive the Indian people of the right to vote except the Indian people themselves- and the only way they could do this is by not voting.”



Thinking and contribution from freshers is fresh, as it is not influenced by any partial view of reality. J.K. Rowling has aptly said: “Age is foolish and forgetful when it underestimates youth”. In today’s knowledge-based economy, what you have is more important than what you’ve experienced.



Recently, the Regional Congress committee hinted that it would positively consider Shahrukh Khan as a candidate if the actor sought a ticket for the coming Lok Sabha polls from a constituency in Mumbai. If we as a nation have to move ahead and build the country of our dreams, we have to use politics as a medium to ensure that the Government remains sensitive and accountable to the people. We need developed and young minds instead of corroded and corrupt minds.



It is us, the generation X (Next), Y (Youth) and Z (Zealous), who can resuscitate India. As the new Airtel advertisement puts it “One act of defiance- can spark a revolution”. The Youth has to become a part of the politics to facilitate the reconstruction of a better society and a country. Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending. Is the Shining India ready for politicians who are educated and eager for a Revolution? India, can you hear me?



Ashish Chowdhary

THE GREAT MARWAR FESTIVAL CONCLUDES WITH A FESTIVE NOTES WITH HUGE POMP AND GLORY

THE GREAT MARWAR FESTIVAL CONCLUDES WITH A FESTIVE NOTES WITH HUGE POMP AND GLORY 12/04/2012

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA, BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS, ODISHA

ODISHA NEWS/SAMBALPUR:



The four-day Marwar Mahotsav concluded, with performances by small screen celebrities, singers and folk dancers. People thronged the Indian Public School ground in Khetrajpur to witness performances on the last evening.

Rajasthani traditional dance and songs by Deepali Sathe of Saregamapa fame enthralled the audience on the concluding day. Deepali made the audience dance to her songs.

Small screen celebrities such as Khayali Saran and Suresh Albela of Laughter Challenge fame, Rashmi Desai from television serial Uttaran, Prince dance group from Berhampur, Raja Hasan group from Mumbai and Veena dance group also performed.

Chowki Dhani, Chakri dance, Bhawani dance, Cherry dance, Kalveria dance, Kachhhi Ghodi, puppet show, nutt dance, Dhol dance, bi-scope were the major attractions of the festival. People got the opportunity see the traditional dance and culture of Marwar. The food of Marwar was the major attraction of the festival. People were seen queuing up at the food kiosks. “The people of Sambalpur witnessed the confluence of cultures. Moreover, the presence of stars from the small screen made the festival attractive,” said Bhawani Mishra, a visitor.

“We also got glimpses of the art, culture and traditions of Marwar. We could also know about their hospitality, attire and cuisine. I am really happy that such a festival was organized in Sambalpur,” he said.

Marwari Yuva Manch of Khetrajpur, in association with the Sambalpur district administration, had organized the festival.

“The festival was an effort to attract the youth towards our culture and tradition. Apart from the shows by the celebrities, the traditional dances and songs were organized to popularize folk culture,” said Parag Agrawal, president of Marwari Yuva Manch of Khetrajpur branch.

Maoists release the second Italian Tourist Paolo Bosusco

Maoists release the second Italian Tourist Paolo Bosusco 12/04/2012

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA,BUREAU CHIEF,THESE DAYS,ODISHA

ODISHA NEWS/BHUBANESWAR:


Maoists have finally released Italian tour operator Paolo Bosusco after keeping him hostage for nearly a month, sources said.

Bosusco was abducted with another Italian, Claudio Colangelo, from a forested area of Kandhamal district on March 14.

It was the first time that the rebels had targeted foreigners. While the rebels released Colangelo on March 25 as a “goodwill gesture” they had kept Bosusco in captivity demanding the State Government to fulfill their 13 demands, including the release of seven persons from jail.

Maoist leader Sabyasachi Panda, in an audio message, on Wednesday had said that Paolo will be released through a “democratic process”. Panda had also said that he had received a copy of the joint statement signed by the State Government and the Maoist-appointed mediators, which was one of the preconditions for the release of the Italian national.

“We had asked for release of seven people. The Government has agreed to facilitate release of five. We welcome the steps taken by the government,” Panda said.

Meanwhile, the fate of Biju Janata Dal legislator Jhina Hikaka who has been in the captivity of another group of rebels since March 24 remains uncertain as the rebels refused to release him unless their demands to free 30 prisoners from jail were met.

After keeping an uncomfortable silence for quite a while the abductors of Hikaka issued a fresh threat on Wednesday.

“If the government resorts to conspiracy, we would decide the fate of Hikaka in a people’s court,” Andhra Odisha Border Special Zonal Committee (AOBSZC) spokesperson Jagabandhu said in a letter on Wednesday.

April 11, 2012

If Government Keeps Its Word, Maoists Ready to Free the Italian National


If Government Keeps Its Word, Maoists Ready to Free the Italian National 11/04/2012

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA,BUREAU CHIEF,THESE DAYS,ODISHA

ODISHA NEWS/BHUBANESWAR





Maoists holding an Italian hostage since March 14 Wednesday reiterated that he will be released only after the Odisha government fulfils its promise.
Sabyasachi Panda, a rebel leader known as Sunil, said in his latest audiomessage aired by local television channels here that his group had not received the copy of the agreement the government signed with mediators, but was aware of its content.

He said the agreement did discuss the 13 demands made by the Maoists and welcomed the government’s decision to initiate the process to free five prisoners – although he had demanded the release of seven.

He said Italian Bosusco Paolo’s release will be easy after the government fulfils its promise, but did not announce an extension of its deadline, which actually expired Tuesday evening.

The statement from Panda came a day after a court acquitted his wife Subhashree Das of involvement in a police-Maoist gunbattle in 2003. She was one of those whose release had been sought by the Maoists.

The fate of Biju Janata Dal legislator Jhina Hikaka who has been in the captivity of another group of rebels since March 24 also remains uncertain as the rebels are yet to react to the government’s appeal.

Mild tremors felt in Odisha; Tsunami alert in 6 districts; CM convenes emergency meeting

Mild tremors felt in Odisha; Tsunami alert in 6 districts; CM convenes emergency meeting 11/04/2012

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA, BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS, ODISHA

ODISHA NEWS/BHUBANESWAR:


Mild tremors were felt in many parts of the state following a massive earthquake that hit Indonesia today afternoon measuring 8.7 in Richter scale. According to reports, tremors were felt in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Khurda, Kendrapara and Balugaon. A tsunami warning was issued for the whole Indian Ocean.


Odisha Chief Minister convenes emergency meeting over this Tsunami alert. The state government issues high alert s on six districts. Stay alert to vacate coastal areas says Relief Commissioner.


Due to this Rain & thundershowers are likely hit the coastal state of India in the next 4 to 6 hours. The showers would be accompanied with strong winds speed 40-70 kmph covering cities of Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Puri, Ganjam, Dhenkanal, Jajpur, Nayagarh, Khurdha and Phulbani districts.

April 10, 2012

DEMOCRACY IS IN THE HANDS OF RICH AND POWERFUL ( MR VIJAY MALLYA)

Today I heard the Mr. Vijay Mallya has bought and brought home the Gandhi items for a whopping $1.8 million... The incident took me back a couple of years...........When in wide eyed amazement we Kannadiga's saw a spectacle of a rich and fascinating Vijay Mallya hold the Sword of Tipu Sultan and Parade the Bangalore streets telling everyone that it was his tribute to the pride of Kannadiga's. As a prelude to the entire drama was this event was a lot oh hype that a mysterious Indian gentleman has bought the sword for a then atrocious / mind boggling 2 crore worth from London...........................

Soon after the sword parade the sword went t his personal collection and I seldom recollect having read about it again. We'll pride is a one time affair I guess... Its like going to Tirupati and washing away a life time of sins with one hefty tribute....

This was about the time when Mallya had replaced Subramanya Swamy as the President of Janata Dal! And soon after this Mr. Mallya grandly launched his own party!!! In the elections however the party was a washout with not a single seat under its belt....


But now Mr. Mallya is MR. MALLYA... whatever he wants he gets... soon he got nominated to The Rajya Sabha as a MP.... Now that was a tribute to the voting sensibility of the Kannada voters..................................

Odisha Tourism bagged the best Tourism Award

Odisha Tourism bagged the best Tourism Award 10/04/2012

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA,BUREAU CHIEF,THESE DAYS,ODISHA

ODISHA NEWS/BHUBANESWAR:



odisha Tourism has bagged the Best Tourism Festival Destination Award in a prestigious award ceremony of International Tourism Conclave & Travel Award function held at East Bourne Resorts & Spa, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh.


Dr. Jyotiskar Mohapatra, Chairman, OTDC and Sri Manoranjan Patnaik, General Manager, OTDC jointly received the award on behalf of Odisha Tourism from Hon’ble Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh Prof. Prem Kumar Dhumal in the presence of Mr. R. S. Khwaja, Secretary, Tourism, Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India, Miss. Manisha Nanda, Secretary, tourism & Civil Aviation, Himachal Pradesh, Mr. Vipul Mitra, Principal Secretary, Tourism Devastan Management Pilgrimage, Govt. of Gujurat and Mr. Ajaya Gupta, CMD of International Tourism Conclave & Travel Award. Hon’ble Chief Minister, Himachal Pradesh Prof. Dhumal also awarded other international tourism companies, boards, departments, destinations, hotels, resorts, travel agencies for excellency in tourism.

The other States which received the awards were Himachal Pradesh Tourism, Gujurat Tourism, Jammu & Kashmir Tourism, Madhya Pradesh Tourism, Chhatisgarh Tourism, Maharastra Tourism and the international awards in different fields were given to Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority, China Tourism, etc.

ITCTA promotes tourism by undertaking promotional and publicity activities, facilitate the exchange of market information, encourage partnerships between the public & private sector and facilitate the easing of barriers to travel industries.

Odisha Tourism has been playing a significant role to showcase the rich cultural and religious heritage through its treasure of classical & folk music & dance. Odisha got this recognition as the best Tourism Festival Destination Award for its innovative and cultural related activities during the past few years. The rich cultural heritage of Odisha has been show-cased through its colourful festivals like : (1) International Sand Art Festival, (2) International Surfing Festival, (3) International Odissi Festival, (4) Gotipua Dance Festival, (5) Konark Festival, (6) Toshali National Crafts Mela, (7) Dhauli-Kalinga Mahotsav, (8) Mukteswar Dance Festival, (9) Rajarani Music Festival, (10) Choreography Festival of Dance (Samrachana).

The International Sand Art Festival and International Surfing Festival were organized for the first time in India by Odisha Tourism. In addition to this, the Guinness record event with 518 Odissi Dancers performing together for 28 minutes was also organized by Odisha Tourism. Further a Jugalbandi with US 3D chalk artist and Sudarshan Pattnaik, International Sand Artists was also organized by Odisha Tourism in collaboration with US Consulate General, Hyderabad, which was also a rare event of its kind organized in India.

April 09, 2012

Naveen urges centre to give 500 MW of power from unallocated share

Naveen urges centre to give 500 MW of power from unallocated share 09/04/2012

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA,BUREAU CHIEF,THESE DAYS,ODISHA
ODISHA NEWS/BHUBANESWAR



Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Sunday urged the Union Government to provide 500 MW of power to Odisha out of the unallocated share at least for a period of two years to resolve the present power crisis.


The Chief Minister in a letter to Union Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said that Odisha is entitled to an additional 500 MW of power from NTPC, Kaniha Stage-II. Against this entitlement, the Union Power Ministry should consider providing the same out of the unallocated share available with them to meet the power crisis of the State, he said.


Shinde who was here on Saturday and met the Odisha Chief Minister had discussed many issues relating to the State’s interest on power sector and solved some matters. However, the Chief Minister in his letter raised six more relevant issues seeking his positive response to implement the decisions expeditiously.


Patnaik reiterated the demand to allocate an additional 700 MW of power from Bedabahal Ultra Mega Power Project in Sundergarah district towards 50 per cent of State’s share. Stating that as part of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), the NTPC will set up a state of the art medical college hospital at Sundergrah with 400-bed capacity, to be upgraded to 500 beds subsequently, he urged Shinde to expedite the project for early implementation.


He also said that PGCIL had decided to set up an ITI each in Sundargarh and Angul districts as part of the CSR for the new 765/400 KV pooling stations. The ITIs should be started soon, he said.


Patnaik reminded that to safeguard the interest of the State, the NTPC would provide a firm assurance as part of the power purchase agreement for the Gajamara project that it would develop their coal block in time to supply coal to the project. The NTPC should not use imported coal or high cost coal which may increase the variable cost and the unit price beyond the indicated price of `2.17.

Maoist abductors of MLA Hikaka want total 30 prisoners to be freed in exchange

Maoist abductors of MLA Hikaka want total 30 prisoners to be freed in exchange 09/04/2012

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA,BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS ,ODISHA
ODISHA NEWS/BHUBANEWAR




Odisha’s efforts to secure the release of an Italian tour operator and a state legislator kidnapped by the Maoists last month plunged into uncertainty on Sunday with the rebels failing to budge from their demands.

In a new twist to BJD MLA Jhina Hikaka’s hostage crisis in the State, Maoists on Sunday purportedly issued a fresh communication asking his wife to reach a village in Koraput district on April 10 along with 30 prisoners to pave way for the legislator’s release, who is being held hostage since March 24.

Jagabandhu, who claimed himself as the spokesperson of the group, in a statement written in Telugu said, 30 prisoners from the district of Malkangiri and Koraput district should be released immediately.

All these people should be brought along with other family members of the legislator, two Maoists-backed mediators Dandapani Mohanty and B.D. Sharma and lawyer Nihar Ranjan Patnaik.

“There should be no involvement of police and intelligence wings in this process,” he warned.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said although his government had concluded negotiations with the Maoist-backed mediators for the release of the Italian, “there seemed to be some confusion.” He said it will be cleared soon.

He also said the government is examining the legal aspect of the demands made by the kidnappers of the legislator.

On the other hand, Maoist leader Sabyasachi Panda, whose group has been holding hostage tour operator Bosusco Paolo since March 14 said the government must clarify whether it was facilitating the release of all the seven people the Maoists wanted.

Besides, the rebel leader in an audio message which was received by some local television channels here, also asked the government to make its stand clear on the 13 demands the rebels had made earlier.
Panda’s audio message came a day after authorities announced that they had come into some agreement with the rebel-backed mediators on various issues raised by the Maoists to secure the release of the Italian tour operator.

The kidnappers of the legislator and the Italians are now separately demanding the release of five and three prisoners, respectively, in addition to what the government has announced.

The state government had earlier announced to facilitate the release of 23 prisoners, including eight Maoists, to secure the release of the legislator and four others to secure the release of the Italian.

Both the groups have been asking the government to fulfil 13 demands, including the ban on tourism in tribal areas, a halt on the state’s operations against the Maoists, and the release of several prisoners.

They have set Tuesday as the deadline for the government to decide on their demands.

Meanwhile, the three senior officials represented by the government and two Maoists backed mediators had also announced the end of their talks and had appealed the abductors to release the Italian unharmed.

April 08, 2012

UNION ENERGY MINISTER DECLARES ODISHA AS A SURPLUS ELECTRICITY STATE

UNION ENERGY MINISTER DECLARES ODISHA AS A SURPLUS ELECTRICITY STATE 8/04/2012

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA,BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS,ODISHA

ODISHA NEWS/BHUBANESWAR



After long years the insufficient energy state Odisha will be known as surplus e electricity state very soon said union energy minister Susil kumar Sindhe. Presiding the Foundation stone ceremony of powergrid 765/400 kv substation at Phulapada village 10 km from Angul HQ.

Power grid corporation of India will now establish a high level pooling substation 765/400kv at Phulapada, Angul. Where 2100 core will investment for this substation. As many public and private energy industries already set-up in Angul .where 10000 mw energy will get and it will equally distribute through this substation to whole Odisha and other state said union minister Mr. Sindhe.

"3 ultra mega power project will establish in Odisha very soon, where Odisha will get 50 percentage energy , which will must help the Odisha from insufficient electricity" added union minister Susil Sindhe.

This pooling project will establish within 300 acres and capacity will take 6000 MVA. And it is the first 765 kv substation in Odisha , which will transmit the power to northern and western region.

Union energy Secretary P.Umashankar, State energy secretary G.Mathivatan, Dhenkanal MP Tathagat Sathpathy , Local MLA Rajani kanta Sing and odisha energy minister A.S.Nayak were present in this foundation ceremony.Mr.R. Nayak MD Powergrid corporation was also present in this ceremony .

MAOISTS HELD UP HIKAKA

MAOISTS HELD UP HIKAKA 8/04/2012

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA,BUREAU CHIEF,THESE DAYS,ODISHA,

ODISHA NEWS/BHUBANESWAR


Extending their deadline to Tuesday, 10 th of April , the Maoists holding Biju Janata Dal legislator Jhina Hikaka Saturday demanded unconditional release of five more people from Odisha jails in order to secure his release. The government said it was ready to address the demands of another group of Maoists holding an Italian as hostage.

The chances of Italian tour operator Bosusco Paolo’s release brightened as the government said it had come into some agreement with the rebels’ backed mediators.

The response from the abductors of the legislator came two days after Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced the names of 27 people, including eight Maoists, to be released in exchange for the lawmaker and the Italian.

‘Jagabandhu’, who claimed himself as a leader of the Andhra-Odisha border special zonal committee, in an audio message to some journalists said the government must release five more people in addition to the 27.

The rebel leader also named the people to be released unconditionally by the government. “We have extended the deadline to April 10. If they are not released the government will see our next step,” he said.

The rebels, who abducted Hikaka from Koraput district March 24, had earlier set a Saturday evening deadline for the government to decide on their demands.
The rebel leader also added that the health of the legislator was good and “will remain good until April 10″.

Italian Paolo has been held hostage since March 14 by another group of rebels.

The group, led by Sabyasachi Panda, had earlier threatened to take an “extreme step” if the government did not release more people by Tuesday. Panda had made the announcement Friday in an audio message which was aired by some local television channels.

Home Secretary U.N. Behera said that to secure the release of Paolo the government had come into some agreement with the rebels’ backed mediators on the various issues raised by the Maoists.

The government also announced to facilitate the release of five of the total six people the rebels had named, Behera told media persons.

He also said that the rebels’ backed mediators and the officials represented by the government had jointly appealed to the Maoists to release the Italian.

ODISHA GOVERNMENT AND MAOISTS REACH AGREEMENT OVER ITALIAN HOSTAGE

ODISHA GOVERNMENT AND MAOISTS REACH AGREEMENT OVER ITALIAN HOSTAGE 8/04/2012

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA,BUREAU CHIEF,THESE DAYS,ODISHA
ODISHA NEWS/BHUBANESWAR


Barring any last minute hitch, Italian hostage Paolo Basusco may be freed soon from his three-week captivity by the Maoists who reached an agreement with the Odisha government on Saturday night.

Another group, which had abducted BJD MLA Jhina Hikaka, extended its deadline to April 10 demanding release of five more people whose names were not on the list of 27 who were offered to be released by the state government in a swap deal.

We have reached an agreement and concluded the fortnight-long negotiations with mediators nominated by CPI (Maoist) for the release of Italian Paolo Bosusco, home secretary UN Behera told reporters as both sides released a signed joint statement after the talks.

Behera, who led the three-member state government side at the negotiations, said that the joint statement was signed by both sides as demanded by the Maoist Odisha State Organising Committee which was holding Bosusco captive since March 14.

As already stated by chief minister Naveen Patnaik in the State Assembly, negotiators from both sides agreed that the state government would facilitate the release of five of the six persons whose release the Maoists had demanded, Behera said.

The joint statement said that after several rounds of discussion, the mediators had given six names - Arati Majhi, Manmohan Pradhan, Suka Nachika, Chakra Tadingi, Bijay Tadingi and Subhashree Das.

The statement said the government would facilitate release of 5 of these 6 persons.

The Maoist mediators, BD Sharma and Dandapani Mohanty, after concluding the agreement, appealed to the Maoists to release Bosusco immediately and in good health.
Patnaik earlier said in a statement in the State Assembly that the Maoists have sought release of six persons. The state government has decided to facilitate the release of five of the six.

Mounting pressure on the state government, Maoist leader Sabyasachi Panda had yesterday threatened to take the extreme step against the 54-year-old Italian hostage if his demands were not met within 96 hours.

A day after the ultimatum, the two sides held two rounds talks before arriving at a mutually agreed position.

Meanwhile, rejecting Odisha government’s offer of releasing 23 prisoners, the Maoist group holding Laxmipur MLA Hikaka captive extended the deadline for fulfillment of its demands till April 10 and sought release of an additional five persons.

A senior leader of Maoist Andhra Odisha Border Special Zonal Committee told the media over telephone that the MLA, abducted in Koraput district on March 24, was safe and the deadline which was to end today, was extended to April 10.

Besides the 23 prisoners already announced by the government, the Maoist group demanded release of five more persons - one Maoist and four members of the ultra-backed Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangha who were in jail in Koraput.

On the Italian hostage crisis, the joint statement signed by both sides said detailed discussions were held on various issues raised by Maoists and the good gesture of Sabyasachi Panda in releasing one of the Italian hostages during the course of negotiations.

The statement said that the chief minister made statements in the assembly indicating the state government's commitment to development in the Scheduled Areas and welfare of the tribal population.

Restrictions made on tourism in tribal areas and state government's commitments to protect the dignity and honour of tribal population were dealt at length, it said.
Regarding cases of alleged human rights violations, the government representatives assured that action, such as payment of compensation, investigation of cases as per the orders of the Supreme Court, the Orissa High Court, National Human Rights Commission and Odisha State Human rights Commission would be taken, the statement said.

During talks, BD Sharma gave some notes on certain issues in line with the 13-point demands of the Maoists.

These included excise policy in tribal areas, Operation Green Hunt, raising the level of administration in Scheduled Areas, anti-displacement mass movement and land issues, it said.

These matters would be examined by the concerned departments of the state government and appropriate action taken, it said.


Both sides expressed the hope that the Maoists would immediately release Bosusco unharmed in view of the joint signed statement.

Bosusco, a Puri-based tour operator, was abducted with another Italian Claudio Colangelo on March 14 while they were trekking in tribal dominated Kandhamal district.


Colangelo was freed on March 25 as a goodwill gesture by the ultras while Bosusco continued to be in Maoists' captivity.


Hikaka was abducted in Koraput district on March 24 while he returning home to Laxmipur.

April 07, 2012

Odisha Govt says state examining audio tape released by Maoists: Maoists Refuse to Release Second Italian, Serve Ultimatum

Odisha Govt says state examining audio tape released by Maoists: Maoists Refuse to Release Second Italian, Serve Ultimatum 07/04/2012

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA, BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS, ODISHA

ODISHA NEWS/BHUBANESWAR


Rejecting State Government’s offer to release 27 prisoners, including eight Maoists to secure the release of Italian tour operator Bosusco Paolo and Biju Janata Dal legislator Jhina Hikaka, Maoists today refused to release Paolo, who has been under their captivity since March 14.

Sabyasachi Panda, a rebel leader known as Sunil, who has claimed responsibility for the abduction of the Italians, in his latest audio message today, said that the list of prisoners proposed to be freed for securing the release of the Italian national was unacceptable and reiterated that they would be compelled to take ‘extreme step’ against the Italian national, if the Government fails to concede their demands by Tuesday.

Panda in his audio message earlier had demanded immediate release of seven persons, including his wife Subhashree Das alias Mili Panda for Bosusco’s release.

Although Subhashree’s name is figured in the list of persons, proposed to be freed, he said the government’s list excluded the names of many others whose release had been demanded.

Apart from this he also described the talks between the mediators and the Government as “farce” as no clear-cut decision had been taken on the 13 demands made for the release of Bosusco and said that the Italian will not be released.

Meanwhile, the group of ultras who abducted BJD MLA Jhina Hikaka on March 24, who on Thursday had announced the extension of deadline to Saturday for fulfilment of all their demands, are yet to respond to the offer.

While Home Secretary UN Behera who led the Government side said they apprised the Maoist mediators regarding the official announcement, both the Maoists’ interlocutors sought to know from the Government what they meant by “steps to facilitate release” of the prisoners. Talking to newsmen, Dandapani Mohanty asserted that the talks were continuing but they wanted to know as to how the Government was moving to “facilitate the release”.


Mohanty said after the Chief Minister’s announcement, they were awaiting a response from the Maoists.


“We do not have any suggestions or objections at the moment, we are examining the Government’s swapping offer. It is the Maoists who have to respond,” he said, putting a question, “When we had given names of nine prisoners, how could the Government announce four names?”

Stating that they would take the next step only after the response of the Maoists was available, Dr Sharma said, “We are concerned about the release of the Italian.”

Howerver, the mediators made a fresh appeal to both the factions of Maoists to release the Italian national and the MLA as well.

On the other hand, there appeared to be progress in the process of release of the tribal MLA, Jhina Hikaka, who was under the captivity of the Koraput faction of Maoists. The Red rebels as well as the CMAS seemed to be cool to the Government’s generous announcement.

Odisha Govt says state examining audio tape released by Maoists: Maoists Refuse to Release Second Italian, Serve Ultimatum

Odisha Govt says state examining audio tape released by Maoists: Maoists Refuse to Release Second Italian, Serve Ultimatum 07/04/2012

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA, BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS, ODISHA

ODISHA NEWS/BHUBANESWAR


Rejecting State Government’s offer to release 27 prisoners, including eight Maoists to secure the release of Italian tour operator Bosusco Paolo and Biju Janata Dal legislator Jhina Hikaka, Maoists today refused to release Paolo, who has been under their captivity since March 14.

Sabyasachi Panda, a rebel leader known as Sunil, who has claimed responsibility for the abduction of the Italians, in his latest audio message today, said that the list of prisoners proposed to be freed for securing the release of the Italian national was unacceptable and reiterated that they would be compelled to take ‘extreme step’ against the Italian national, if the Government fails to concede their demands by Tuesday.

Panda in his audio message earlier had demanded immediate release of seven persons, including his wife Subhashree Das alias Mili Panda for Bosusco’s release.

Although Subhashree’s name is figured in the list of persons, proposed to be freed, he said the government’s list excluded the names of many others whose release had been demanded.

Apart from this he also described the talks between the mediators and the Government as “farce” as no clear-cut decision had been taken on the 13 demands made for the release of Bosusco and said that the Italian will not be released.

Meanwhile, the group of ultras who abducted BJD MLA Jhina Hikaka on March 24, who on Thursday had announced the extension of deadline to Saturday for fulfilment of all their demands, are yet to respond to the offer.

While Home Secretary UN Behera who led the Government side said they apprised the Maoist mediators regarding the official announcement, both the Maoists’ interlocutors sought to know from the Government what they meant by “steps to facilitate release” of the prisoners. Talking to newsmen, Dandapani Mohanty asserted that the talks were continuing but they wanted to know as to how the Government was moving to “facilitate the release”.


Mohanty said after the Chief Minister’s announcement, they were awaiting a response from the Maoists.


“We do not have any suggestions or objections at the moment, we are examining the Government’s swapping offer. It is the Maoists who have to respond,” he said, putting a question, “When we had given names of nine prisoners, how could the Government announce four names?”

Stating that they would take the next step only after the response of the Maoists was available, Dr Sharma said, “We are concerned about the release of the Italian.”

Howerver, the mediators made a fresh appeal to both the factions of Maoists to release the Italian national and the MLA as well.

On the other hand, there appeared to be progress in the process of release of the tribal MLA, Jhina Hikaka, who was under the captivity of the Koraput faction of Maoists. The Red rebels as well as the CMAS seemed to be cool to the Government’s generous announcement.

April 06, 2012

Maoists to release Paolo today and MLA tomorrow

Maoists to release Paolo today and MLA tomorrow 6/04/2012

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA , BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS

ODISHA NEWS: BHUBANESWAR


After the state government agreed to release 27 persons from jail in line with the demand of the Maoists, the prospect of releasing the Italian hostage Paolo Bosusco and MLA Jhina Hikaka has been brighter.


According to sources, Paolu, who is in the control of Sabyasachi Panda, is likely to be released today. The release of the MLA of Laxmipur, Jhina Hikaka may take place tomorrow after he is produced before the 'Praja Court' (People's Court), reports Nichhaka.

Nichhaka is a community wall news paper, placed before Jayadev Bhavan of the city. It is gaining people's attention day by day for its independent reporting. It has been promoted by a small group of independent minded journalists of the city. The news paper has three sections: Nichhaka news, Comments from Citizen and Cartoon.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday announced the names of 27 people, including a Maoist’s wife, whose release will facilitate the freeing of an Italian and a legislator being held captive by Maoists.

Patnaik said the decision to facilitate the release was taken on humanitarian grounds and he expected the rebels would reciprocate and release the hostages unharmed at the earliest.

“The government will take necessary legal steps of facilitating the release of these 27 persons,” the chief minister said in a statement in the state assembly.

“The government has made this gesture on humanitarian grounds. I do hope the Maoists will reciprocate in a similar spirit,” he added.

Among those to be released is Subhashree alias Mili Panda, the wife of top Maoist leader Sabyasachi Panda.

While the two mediators backed by the abductors of the Italian refused to comment on the announcement saying it was premature, the group holding the legislator announced the extension of deadline to Saturday for fulfilment of all their demands. Earlier they had set a Thursday deadline.

Giacomo Sanfelice di Monteforte, the Italian ambassador to India, met Patnaik and discussed steps the government had taken to free the Italian.

“He gave me information about the developments of the negotiations,” the ambassador told reporters after his meeting with the chief minister.

“I from my side expressed to the Chief Minister how this deliberation…is being closely followed in Italy, of course, by his family, friends and by the Italian authorities particularly by the Italy ministry of foreign affairs,” he added.

Subhashree Panda is facing trial in a number of cases for alleged Maoist activities. She is also facing the charge of sedition.

Sabyasachi is the secretary of the state unit organising committee of the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist). His group has kept Italian tour operator Bosusco Paolo hostage since March 14.

Patnaik Wednesday announced the decision to release 27 people, including eight Maoists, in exchange for legislator Jhina Hikaka, who has been held captive by the Maoists since March 24.

Patnaik had also announced the release of four other people to secure the release of Italian tour operator Bosusco Paolo held hostage since March 14.

April 05, 2012

WILL THE NAXAL STRATEGY SUCCEED?

The abduction drama has come to an end.The chief minister of Odisha Navin Patnaik announced that the government would facilitate freeing 27 prisoners for an early release of B.J.D.MLA Jhinna Hikaka and an Italian.


The government of Odisha will free 27 prisoners including 8 Naxals from Koraput and Malkangiri jails for the release of B.J.D.MLA Jhinna Hikaka and an Italian. Though this is not for the first time in the history of Odisha that such a step will be taken to free the abducted foreign nationals and an MLA.



In fact, naxalities have a long history of abducting prominent persons and get them released in exchange for top leaders. The abduction drama was first played out to attract media`s attention for their cause without spending money for coverage and to halt combing operations.


In 1987, the naxalities kidnapped 11 government officials including 7 IAS officers along with a doctor S R Sankaran of 1956 batch and demanded the release of their comrades. It was for the first time that the abduction strategy had been resorted to by the naxals in Andhra Pradesh. They secured the release of 16 top leaders, then lodged in Rajmedary Central Jail.


Among them W.Chandramauli was accused in 16 murders. The abduction drama continued for 10 days and almost all the newspapers gave very good coverage. The 16 naxals were put into a non-police jeep with non-policemen drove into the forest in a journey that took roughly 8 hours. The same jeep brought the officials out with instructions that they should not speak to the press. The officials were on a visit to Rampachoudavaram of East Godavari district for the welfare of tribal welfare school.


Mr. Shankaran was than the Prinicipal Secretary of SC/ST department of Andhra Pradesh. The then Prime Minister of India Rajiv Gandhi even wanted to send special well-trained commandos to rescue the IAS officers. But the then Chief Minster of Andhra Pradesh, N.T.Rama Rao, managed to get them back by releasing the top most Nexal leaders.



The success of abduction in Rampachodabaram made the Naxals do a repeat when they kidnapped MLA P. Sudhir Kumar, son of a senior Congress leader of Andhra Pradesh in May 1991. They kept him for some days under custody of Naxals and later released him. And the deal between the naxals and Sudhir is still not known.



P. Balaraju a Congress MLA from Visakhapatnam district was another high profile victim in 1993. Bala Raju was kidnapped along with an IAS officer and 4 engineers and remained in Naxal custody for 23 days. The top Naxal leader Kranti Randev released in return for securing Bala Raju (Bala Raju now the Tribal Welfare Minister in A.P).


When contacted, Bala Raju admits each day in captivity was spent in fear. "I was very scared and mentally very disturbed. I know the possibility of being killed and being released were equal. I and family still feel insecure as we are still a target, and it could happen again. He opined that all political parties come together to resolve the issue.


Again in 2011, in February, the Malkangiri Collector Mr. R.Veenil Krishna along with two engineers, while inspecting remote villages under Chitrakonda Tahasil to strengthen the economic condition of the tribals, were abducted. The Collector was kept under Maoist captivity for about 9 days and the entire government was completely paralyzed - focussing entirely on the release of the Collector.


After his release he was in Malkangiri for a couple of days and left for Delhi on deputation. He was reluctant to speak about the difficulties he had to face mentally to the press. For the release of the Collector, the interlocutors appointed by the Naxals continued talks for implementation of 14 demands. Out of which, the leaders of Maoist party Ghanti Prasad and other 4 persons have been released and cases against them have been withdrawn.


So far, every every abduction in a democratic county like India, the Naxals are getting their political benefit. However if we go through the back history the abduction drama itself, it seems Naxals have gained through this strategy but in the long run the movement of Nexals may be derailed.

Deaths due to drug consumption, not spurious liquor Odisha Government informs High Court

Deaths due to drug consumption, not spurious liquor Odisha Government informs High Court 05/04/2012

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA,BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS, ODISHA

ODISHA NEWS/BHUBANESWAR



The state government on Wednesday informed the Odisha High Court that the death of 40 persons in the bordering villages of Cuttack and Khurda districts in February this year was not due to spurious liquor but due to consumption of spurious medicines.


Dismissing the claims made by certain sections that it was a liquor tragedy which claimed several lives in about five villages of the area, the Khurda collector in a counter affidavit filed in response to a PIL in this connection claimed that the deaths were caused to consumption of certain medicines which contained methyl alcohol (industrial spirit).


While a judicial inquiry headed by a former judge of the High Court is already on the job to ascertain the cause of the deaths, the attempt made by the state government to project that the tragedy was caused by spurious medicines assumes importance.


Moreover, when former excise minister AU Singhdeo promptly resigned owning moral responsibility soon after the incident and while the health minister Prasanna Acharya is unyielding to the demands of his resignation, the government’s affidavit on the day is sending a wrong message, said PIL petitioner advocate Nishikant Mishra.


Mishra also pointed out that soon after the tragedy in February; two excise inspectors were placed under suspension while the then excise commissioner was removed.


Similarly, the government took action against some staffs of the Drugs Controller.

But what baffles most is that if both the departments were responsible for the February tragedy why only the Excise Minister showed his morality and the Health Minister went scot-free, he asked.

At least 40 persons had died over period of a week in the villages under Cuttack Sadar and Balianta police stations of both the districts respectively.

Many also lost their visions partially.
It may be mentioned here that earlier Cuttack district collector Girish SN also had filed a counter affidavit in the High Court making similar observations.

In its affidavit made by the State excise commissioner, the stand taken by the government was also echoed.

The matter is likely to come up soon for next hearing in the Bench of Chief Justice V Gopala Gowda and Justice BN Mohaptra, Mishra informed.

ODISHA GOVERNMENT HAS TO EXCHANGE 27 PRISONERS INCLUDING EIGHT MAOIST IN EXCHANGE OF THE MLA HIKAKA AND THE ITALIAN

ODISHA GOVERNMENT HAS TO EXCHANGE 27 PRISONERS INCLUDING EIGHT MAOIST IN EXCHANGE OF THE MLA HIKAKA AND THE ITALIAN 05/04/2012

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA, BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS,ODISHA

ODISHA NEWS/BHUBANESWAR:


The Odisha government has decided to facilitate the release of 27 prisoners, including eight Maoists, to secure the release of an Italian tourist and a legislator, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said Wednesday.

The Maoists have held hostage Italian tour operator Bosusco Paolo and Biju Janata Dal legislator Jhina Hikaka since March 14 and March 24, respectively.

Paolo was abducted with another Italian, Claudio Colangelo, 61, from a forested area on the border of Ganjam and Kandhamal districts. The rebels March 25 released Colangelo as a “goodwill gesture” but kept Paolo, 54 insisting the government to fulfil their demands.

“Considering the safety of Jhina Hikaka, the young tribal MLA of Laxmipur, it has been decided by the state government to facilitate the release of 15 members of Chasi Mulia Adibasi Sangha and also eight left wing extremists who are now lodged in jails,” Patnaik told reporters.

“Further, considering the demands of the Odisha state organizing committee of the CPI-Maoist for the Italian national, who was abducted in the Kandhamal district, it has been decided to facilitate the release of four persons from the list given by the mediators for the Maoists,” he added.

After the announcement, Patnaik also appealed to the Maoists to immediately release both the hostages unharmed and in good health.

While the Italian was abducted by the Odisha unit of the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) from Kandhamal district, the legislature was kidnapped by the Andhra-Odisha border special zonal committee from Koraput district.

The group responsible for kidnapping the Italian insisted the government fulfill 13 demands, including a ban on the visit of tourists to tribal areas, a halt to anti-Maoist operations and the release of several under-trial prisoners.

Two negotiators backed by them were holding talks with the state government for the past several days on the Maoist’s demands.
The legislator’s abductors were demanding the release of several activists of the Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangh (CMAS) who they say have been booked on false charges in Koraput and Malkangiri districts.

The legislator’s abductors had Tuesday refused to appoint any mediator for talks and had set a Thursday deadline for the government to decide on their demands.

Although the decision to release the prisoners many bring an end to the weeks-long hostage crisis, the Maoists have, however, not yet responded to the chief minister’s announcement.

April 04, 2012

WALL COLLAPSED AT THE FAMOUS BUDDHIST SHRINE


WALL COLLAPSED AT THE FAMOUS BUDDHIST SHRINE 04/04/2012

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA, BUREAU CHIEF , THESE DAYS, ODISHA

ODISHA NEWS/BHUBANESWAR



A major portion of the wall of Udayagiri a famous Buddhist site of Jajpur district collapsed recently due to slipshod attitude of the Archeological Survey of India (ASI).


This wall was on the verge of collapse since long . But the ASI failed to repair it for which the was caved in. The government last year granted 14 crores to the ASI to conserve the Buddhist sites at Lalitagiri, Ratnagiri and Udayagiri . But the authority is yet to repair all the Buddhist sites”, said Dr Nrusingh Charana Sahoo a researcher of the district.


“The authority termed these areas as treasure houses of history that is just waiting for the arrival of large numbers of tourists. The government is preparing an ambitious master plan to develop Buddhist sites in Jajpur district as a tourist hub to attract more foreign and domestic travellers. Jajpur district has a special place on the World Buddhist spots. In fact, the government has recognized Jajpur as one of the most important Buddhist centers in the state and started developing them as Tourism spots. We will repair the damaged wall soon , said Ashok Kumar Patel the superintendent of ASI.


"The state government will spend 14 crores within four years to develop these Buddhist sites in Jajpur district", added Patel. The famous Buddhist sites in Lalitagiri, Udayagiri and Ratnagiri of the state are fit to get the status of World Heritage Sites like Sun Temple of Konark. But large scale of illegal quarrying near the hillocks of the famous Buddhist sites are the stumbling blocks to declare these Buddhist monasteries as World Heritage Sites, added the official of ASI.


The authority has recently imposed prohibitory order of section-144 of CRPC at Udayagiri hillock to prevent illegal quarry by some influential persons, added the official.

ODISHA CM INVITES NACHIKA LINGA FOR TALKS TO RELEASE BJD MLA JHINA HIKAKA

ODISHA CM INVITES NACHIKA LINGA FOR TALKS TO RELEASE BJD MLA JHINA HIKAKA 04/04/2012

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA , BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS, ODISHA

ODISHA NEWS/BHUBANESWAR

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday appealed to BJD MLA Jhina Hikaka’s abductors to extend their 5 April deadline and again invited Nachika Linga, the President of Maoist-backed Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangh (CMAS) for negotiation with the government to facilitate the safe release of Laxmipur BJD legislator Jhina Hikaka held hostage by the Maoists since March 23.


Patnaik on Tuesday stated in the Assembly that the Government is prepared to hold discussion to release certain members of the CMAS as per the demands of the Maoists.


Patnaik’s statement came hours after Andhra-Odisha-Border Special Zonal Committee (AOBSZC) asked the State Government to fulfil its demands including release of jailed rebels latest by 5 April.


Meanwhile, hours later, in another letter the abducted Laxmipur MLA Jhina Hikaka himself had requested Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to soon release all the innocent tribals incarcerated in jails who have been allegedly framed under fabricated charges by the police.

“Since I am a tribal, steps for my safe release are not being considered seriously,” the letter bearing Hikaka’s name said.


Adding more it said, if quick steps are not taken for his release he would be unable to work for development of his area and if necessary, he will be forced to resign.

Opposition lambasted the Ruling Government relating to White Paper on illegal transaction of govt lands

Opposition lambasted the Ruling Government relating to White Paper on illegal transaction of govt lands 04/04/2012

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA,BUREAU CHIEF,THESE DAYS,ODISHA

ODISHA NEWS/BHUBANESWAR



The Opposition on Tuesday came down heavily on the Odisha government for abetting land scams and illegal land transfer and acting as an unscrupulous middleman in acquisition and transfer of land to industrialists at the cost of poor and tribals.


However, revenue and disaster management minister Surya Narayan Patro refuted the allegation and made a counterpoint that land scams and illegal encroachment of government lands were the handiwork of the previous Congress regime.


The Congress demanded a white paper on illegal transaction of government lands.


Stating that the incumbent government has initiated the process to retrieve government land under illegal possession of vested interests, the minister asserted that exemplary action was being taken against officials and others involved in the land scam.


Patro announced that it was decided to make a strong law based on the model of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh by bringing certain amendments in the provisions of the existing OPLE Act to ensure that the State is free of acts of land encroachment and illegal transfer of government land.


A Cabinet committee has been set up to examine the draft legislation and a comprehensive Bill in the House would be brought on the recommendation of the panel, Patro said.


About 2.43 lakh acres of revenue land in the state was encroached upon and the state government was able to retrieve 91,734 acres.

The government has filed 326,447 cases under the OPLE Act to retrieve the encroached lands and so far 181,447 cases have been disposed, Patro said.

Besides, he said that the state government has ordered a CBI and Crime Branch probe into some land scams while exemplary action has been taken against officials involved in the dubious deals.
On the Opposition’s allegation that the state government is acting as agent of the industries to acquire land by force and at the cost of lives of the poor and tribals, he said that land acquisition was being made for the socioeconomic development of the State and this was a continuous process.

The state government has nothing to do with the land acquisition and it was being made by the state public sector undertaking IDCO, he clarified.

The minister said that steps would be taken on the issue if there is an examination and recommendation by the Public Accounts Committee of the Assembly.

Participating in the marathon four-hour debate, the Congress members alleged that the state government had the dubious distinction of being a land grabber and had been acquiring private land by eviction of poor tribals at gunpoint leading to killing of 21 tribals.

April 03, 2012

Letter to " OUTLOOK" Cover Story " “Disgrace” / “Officer, Gentleman and the ARMY Mess April 9, 2012 "

Your cover story “Disgrace” / “Officer, Gentleman and the ARMY Mess April 9, 2012 rightly relects the clear picture to the society.

This seems to be a plot from government to tame this Honest General... But this general who is 1st commando who became chief of army and the only Indian army soldier whose name is in the "Hall of Fame" of Soldier in America who made impossible possible won't get bow down easily. He understands these plays and would befit these corrupt culprits in their own way. For this we should thank Gen V.K.Singh. At least he spoke out. By his action, it looks like he has interest of the country in mind and immense self respect. He is also bold to do what he is doing.

The lucrative fund of Ministry of Defense definitely a dream treasure for all corrupted officials/individuals. There is no reason to blame Mr. Antony for his laidback attitude . He is genuinely honest minister that modern politics required. All others should support both of them to make the defense system clear and transparent.

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA,
PROFESSORS’ COLONY,
BHIMA BHOI ROAD,
AT/PO – BUDHARAJA
SAMBALPUR – 768004
ODISHA

Letter to The week : Cover Story “ My name is not red” April 8, 2012

With reference to yours cover story and greatness “ April 8 , 2012 “ MY NAME IS NOT RED”, a child like Juliana Purti has become a victim of Maoist. The irony of our present educational system provided the clues to earn a living without teaching the art of living. Restructuring the system is essential to motivate the students in right directions. The atmosphere in in our day to day live breeds insecurity and frustration. Our youths certainly do not be trapped in negative emotions.


Innocent lives than terrorists over the last few decades. It is now clear that the ultras are fighting neither for an ideology nor for the tribes nor the poor. They are a bunch of power-hungry people who want to keep their dominance over the tribal areas -- the Red Zone -- intact. That is the reason they won't negotiate with the government or put out a clear set of demands. It suits their interest that no development work takes place in tribal areas.


Irony is time and again, Naxals have complained about the failure of Indian govt to address the issue of backwardness and growth in the hinterland and the areas inhabited by Adivasis. It has been claimed that the aborigines of these areas have been oppressed since long and the natural resources have been exploited by a limited few in the country. Now the question arises - do the activities of naxals convince about their seriousness for development of these areas?


SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA,
NEAR PROFESSORS’ COLONY,
BHIMA BHOI ROAD,
AT/PO – BUDHARAJA,
DIST – SAMBALPUR,
STATE- ODISHA
PIN - 768004

IN ODISHA, KORAPUT DISRTICT ADMINISTRATION BANS FOREIGHNERS ENTRY

IN ODISHA, KORAPUT DISRTICT ADMINISTRATION BANS FOREIGHNERS ENTRY
3/04/2012

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA, BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS, ODISHA

ODISHA NEWS/BHUBANESWAR:


After Raigrah district, another Maoist infested district Koraput in Odisha bans entry of foreign nationals for indefinite period for security reasons. District collector Sachin Jadhav has communicated this through a letter sent to all tour operators.


In a letter to all the tour operators, the district administration has made it clear that no permission will be issued to foreign nationals and tourists to visit any part of the district till the officials decides on the matter.


The district administration needs to reassess the security situation and that it will take a call on this issue of regulating the movement of foreign nationals and tourists in the district either way, the letter stated.


Last week, the Rayagada district administration had imposed similar restrictions on the entry of all foreign tourists into the tribal-dominated district.

Odias set to build bridges across all communities in Washington

Odias set to build bridges across all communities in Washington 3/04/2012


SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA, BUREAU CHEIF, THESE DAYS


ODISHA NEWS: BHUBANESWAR





On the day of Martin Luther King Jr. Day January 16, 2012, the "Oriyas of Greater Seattle" was officially incorporated as a non-profit organization by the Secretary of State of the Washington state.



As part of the articles of incorporation, the mission of "Odias of Greater Seattle" is to promote activities for building bridges across all communities in the US for a better understanding of Oriya culture and exchange of information between Odisha and the US. To achieve this mission the "Oriyas of Greater Seattle" will organize and/or collaborate with cultural events, film shows, social events, performances, workshops and seminars showcasing the arts and cultures of Odisha by both local and international artists and speakers all across the US.





The first event by the Oriyas of Greater Seattle titled as SAMSARA: THE CYCLE OF LIFE, an Odissi dance performance by Shibani Patnaik with live music by four world class musicians is scheduled to take place at the Rainier Valley Cultural Center on Sunday April 29, 2012 at 3:30pm. This event will benefit the Summer Youth Leadership Program (SYLP) of the Northwest Asian Weekly Foundation and TASVEER's Independent South Asian Film Festival in Seattle. Shibani has been extensively trained in Odissi under the guidance of legendary masters like Late Guru Padmashree Gangadhar Pradhan and Gurus Aruna Mohanty, Manoranjan Pradhan, and Yudhistir Nayak from the Orissa Dance Academy. Shibani has presented Odissi at numerous dance festivals, conventions, museums, and universities in the USA and abroad.




Odissi, is one of the eight classical dance forms of India. It originates from the state of Orissa, in eastern India. It is the oldest surviving dance form of India on the basis of archaeological evidences from 1st Century B.C. It was suppressed under the British Raj, but has been reconstructed since India gained independence. It is particularly distinguished from other classical Indian dance forms by the importance it places upon the Tribhangi, the independent movement of head, chest and pelvis and upon the basic square stance known asChauka or Chouka that symbolizes Lord Jagannath. This dance is characterized by various Bhangas (Stance), which involves stamping of the foot and striking various postures as seen in Indian sculptures.



Orissa, officially spelled Odisha, is a state of India, located on the east coast of India, by the Bay of Bengal. It is the modern name of the ancient nation of Kalinga, which was invaded by the Maurya Emperor Ashoka in 261 BCE. The modern state of Orissa was established on April 1, 1936, as a province in India, and consists predominantly of Oriya-speakers. April 1st is therefore celebrated as Utkala Dibasa (formation day of Orissa) in India. Oriya speakers are regarded as one of the ‘Transnational Ethnic Indian Groups’. In India, the language is spoken by over 31 million people, and globally over 45 million speak Oriya. It is one of the official languages of India and the major language of Orissa. Oriya language has spread to the other parts of the globe such as Burma, Malaysia, Fiji, Indonesia, Java, Sumatra, the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and UAE.

Maoists issue fresh deadline for release of BJD MLA

Maoists issue fresh deadline for release of BJD MLA 3/04/2012

SIDDHARTHA SHANKAR MISHRA, BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS
ODISHA NEWS/ BHUBANESWAR


Turning down State Governments appeal to nominate mediators to initiate talks with the Government for the release of BJD MLA Jhina Hikaka, Chandramauli, the Secretary of the Andhra-Odisha-Border Special Zonal Committee, that had claimed responsibility for the abduction of the MLA Jhina Hikaka on March 26, in an audio tape today said that the Government should fulfill the demands of the Maoist group by April 5 to secure the release of their MLA.

Chandramauli, in his latest audio message aired by television channels said that they will set free Hikaka if the false case framed against leaders of Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangh (CMAS) in Koraput and Malkangiri districts are withdrawn and they are released.

Rejecting any negotiation on the matter, he said “We are giving the government April 5 deadline.” The rebel leader however did not name the people whose release his group is demanding.


The CMAS is an organization working in the southern parts of the state, including in the districts of Malkangiri and Koraput on tribal related issues. Police say the organization has Maoist support.


Meanwhile, the fresh release of the audio tape by Chandramauli has added a new twist to the crisis as the whereabouts of the BJD MLA is in darkness ever since he was kidnapped on March 24.


It is noteworthy to mention that Sabyasachi Panda, a rebel leader known as Sunil, who has claimed responsibility for the abduction of the Italians, in an audio message aired by television channels on Monday, demanded release of some people arrested for Maoist activities, to ensure the secure release of Paolo Bosusco, else they would be compelled to take ‘extreme step’ against him.

April 02, 2012

MAOISTS ARE YET TO RESPOND THE MEDIATORS APPEAL

MAOISTS ARE YET TO RESPOND THE MEDIATORS APPEAL

SIDDHARTHA, SHANKAR MISHRA, BUREAU CHIEF, THESE DAYS, ODISHA

ODISHA NEWS/ BHUBANESWAR


Maoists are yet to respond to the appeal made by their mediators two days ago to release an Italian held hostage by them in Odisha since March 14, an official said Monday.


“There has been no response from the Maoists so far,” a state home department official told on condition of anonymity.


The government also did not have any further update on the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) legislator Jhina Hikaka, who was held hostage by another group of leftwing extremists in a hilly area of Koraput district since March 24, he said.


Dandapani Mohanty and B.D. Sharma, the Maoist-backed mediators, ended their talks with the government Saturday and appealed to the rebels to release the Italian tour operator Bosusco Paolo, 54 on humanitarian grounds.


The mediators also urged the government to begin the process of withdrawal of cases against some people, which the rebels claimed were made on false charges.


Paolo was abducted along with another Italian, Claudio Colangelo, 61, from a forested area on the border of Ganjam and Kandhamal districts. The rebels March 25 had released Colangelo in a ‘goodwill gesture’.


The rebels were insisting the government fulfil 13 demands for the release of Paolo, including a ban on the visit of tourists to tribal areas, a halt to anti-Maoist operations and the release of several prisoners. It is not clear if the government has agreed to fulfil any of the demands.


The group which has claimed responsibility for the abduction of the legislator has made more or less the same demands. They have refused to appoint any negotiator on their behalf.