Pradeep Pattanayak

Demanding land at free of cost for the construction of a Paika memorial at Barunei in Khordha district and status of First War of Independence to Paika Bidroha, hundreds of Paikas on Friday took out a massive march in Bhubaneswar. 

Troupes of Paikas, or traditional martial artistes, Paika Daleis and Paika Dalabeheras, led by the president of Veera Paika Sangathan, Prakash Shrichandan, started their journey from Barunei shrine to Bhubaneswar. Later, the Pakias, dressed in traditional attires weapons with armour marched from near the Ram Mandir towards Master Canteen Square while demonstrating their unmatched warfare skills. The march culminated at Ekamra Haat where a meeting was organised. 

The Paikas warned they would intensify the agitation if their demands were not fulfilled. 

"The bugle call has been sounded today. Our fight will continue till the Central government gives the status of First War of Independence to Paika Bidroha and until the Odisha government provides lad free of cost for construction of Paika memorial at Barunei. Next time, to make our demands louder, a similar Paika procession will be organised at Red Fort in New Delhi," informed former Khordha MLA Dillip Srichandan.        

"The Central government recognises the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857 as the First War of Independence. We demand the 1817 Paika Bidroha be given the status of the First War of Independence of India, instead" senior Congress leader and Jatni MLA Sura Routray demanded.