Protest over use of English; 5 held

Bhubaneswar: Utkal Diwas celebrations witnessed rallies and token protests here today when activists of some social organizations demanded maximum use of Odia language in offices. At least five persons have been detained by the Commissionerate Police for disfiguring the name plates written in English.

Holding synthetic colours, the activists of ‘Samaj Andolan’ were seen blackening the name plates of government quarters written in English. After disfiguring the plates, they pasted stickers asking use of Odia instead. The protesters didn’t even spare the police control room (PCR) vans and removed the thin films printed on the vehicles.

The police had a harrowing time in controlling the agitators. “We have detained five persons who were trying to disfigure the name plates of government quarters,” said an official.

Meanwhile, demanding maximum use of Odia in offices and other places, president of Utkal Sammilani’s Titilagarh branch Gajanan Mishra sat on a token strike in front of the Governor’s House here today. “The State government has not taken proper steps to ensure wide use of Odia in the State and the agitation will intensify in the coming days,” said Mishra.