Naveen to visit Malkangiri despite Cong, BJP bandh call tomorrow

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Bhubaneswar: Notwithstanding the bandh call given by Opposition Congress and BJP, Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik will visit the tribal dominated Malkangiri district tomorrow.

Keeping in mind, the Left Wing Extremism (LWE) activities in the district and the bandh call by Opposition parties, security has been beefed up ahead of the CM’s visit. IG (Operations), RP Koche and Malkangiri SP, Mitrabhanu Mohapatra reviewed security arrangements of the CM’s meeting venue at DNK playground in the district.

While all the entry and exit points of the district have been sealed, a total of 32 platoons of police force were deployed to thwart any possible eventuality.

The CM is scheduled to inaugurate and lay foundation stones of various social welfare projects and will address a gathering.

However, speculations are rife whether Naveen will visit the Japanese Encephalitis affected (JE) areas and review the situation.

“On account of the Naxal threat, patrolling is being conducted in bordering areas and around 32 platoons of police force were deployed to maintain law and order. We are prepared for the bandh call given by certain political parties,” said Mohapatra.

On the political front, the opposition parties have criticized the CM for not visiting the district when it was on the throes of Japanese Encephalitis outbreak. As a mark of protest, both Congress and BJP have called for Malkangiri bandh tomorrow.

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“The CM has behaved as if tribal and dalit children are not human beings and Malkangiri is not a district. All schools, colleges, shops and establishments will remain closed and roads will be completely blocked”, said Congress leader Pradip Majhi.

“The society in general will not tolerate the injustice done to the tribal children of Malkangiri district. Tomorrow, the BJP has called for a district-wide bandh and the workers and members of the party will protest the CM’s visit,” said BJP’s Bhrugu Bauxipatra.

“It will be very unfortunate and will be like challenging the democratic spirit if efforts are made by some parties to deliberately sabotage an elected CM’s visit on a government program,” said BJD spokesperson, Pratap Deb.

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