State Govt seeks report on attack on job seekers at Phulbani

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Bhubaneswar: State government on Wednesday sought a report from Kandhamal district administration and Odisha Primary Education Programme Authority (OPEPA) on alleged physical attack on job seekers aspiring for the post of Sikshya Sahayaks (SSs).

Both the district collector of Kandhamal and the project director of OPEPA have been asked to submit reports about the circumstances that led to assault on the aspiring SSs hailing from other districts at Phulbani town on Tuesday, said School and Mass Education minister Rabi Nanda.

"The state government will take appropriate action after examining the collector and project director's reports," Nanda said adding there was no plan to change criteria for SS recruitment. The candidates from across the state can apply for the post anywhere in Odisha, he said.

Kui Samaj Samanoya Samiti (KSSS), an outfit of Kui tribes led by its convenor Lambodar Kanhar allegedly attacked candidates from other districts. About 30 persons including women claimed to have been injured in the incident.

"This is not only KSSS, all the people of Kandhamal district support our views. We will not allow any person from outside Kandhamal and Boudh districts to work as SSs here," Lambodar told reporters at Phulbani.

Besides being beaten up, the candidates also alleged that their certificates were damaged by KSSS activists. Meanwhile, police registered two cases against Kanhar and others based on FIRs filed by victim candidates.

"We are examining allegations against Kanhar and others. Appropriate action will be taken as per the law," said D C Mallick, additional SP of Kandhamal district.

Opposition Congress and BJP condemned the incident and termed it as the inefficiency of the state government to provide protection to the people in Kandhamal.

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