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Rashmi Ranjan

The Leader of Opposition in Odisha Assembly, Pradipta Kumar Naik on Wednesday wrote to Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Chief Minister (CM) Naveen Patnaik and Jharkhand CM, Hemant Soren, seeking their intervention in the controversial decision by the government in the neighbouring state to withdraw Odia as second language from school curriculum.

“Odia speaking people of living in Jharkhand, mainly in Sadeikala, Kharsua, east Singbhum and west Singhbhum districts, and few other parts of the state, have been exploited and harassed by the government of Jharkhand since long,” the letter stated.

“It is worthy to mention here that these are predominately Odia speaking areas. About 70 percent people in these areas speak the Odia language. During the re-organisation of states in 1956 on linguistic basis, these areas should have merged with Odisha. However it was not done deliberately as these areas are mineral rich. Since then Odia speaking people in these areas are being discriminated and harassed by the erstwhile Bihar and present Jharkhand state,” the letter stated.

“In 2011 the Govt. of Jharkhand had given second language status to Odia language. However, the same has been decided to be withdrawn by the Government of Jharkhand which will adversely affect the Odia speaking people of Sadaikala, Kharsua, east Singhbhum and west Singhbhum and few other area of Jharkhand. The fundamental rights of the people of the area is being bridged and they are being discriminated and suppressed by the Govt. of Jharkhand as the students of the areas will not be able to read in their mother tongue. “

Naik went on to add, “It has come to my notice that different organisations of these areas have protested against the decision of the Govt. and drawn the notice of the Governor, Jharkhand. But no action has been taken so far. In view of the above circumstances, I would urge to kindly go through the gravity of the situation and take early steps to protect the interest of the Odia speaking people staying in Jharkhand,” letter read.

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