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Pradeep Pattanayak

Hundreds of residents of Udaynagar under Chandaka police limits on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar city led by Jatni Congress MLA Suresh Routray on Saturday gheraoed the residence of Revenue Minister Sudam Marndi in Bhubaneswar protesting an eviction drive. 

Terming the eviction drive launched in their village as illegal, they put up a strong opposition to it while demanding permanent land documents under Jaga Mission before evicting them. 

Areas like Udaynagar, Baraman, Sundarpur, Pathargadia and Chunakoli are inhabited by around 2,500 landless families with a total population of around 10,000. In the presence of police force, an eviction drive was launched in Udaynagar area with engaging a JCB machine on Friday. On being informed, senior Congress leader Suresh Routray reached the spot and halted the drive. 

“Without any prior notice, a JCB machine and a posse of policemen reached the village to evict the people yesterday. I along with the villagers sat in front of the earth mover and halted the drive. We told them to carry out the drive only after providing permanent land documents,” said Routray. 

“We all belong to scheduled caste and scheduled tribe and are landless. We demand the government should provide four decimal lands each to us under Jaga Mission. Today we visited Revenue Minister Sudam Marndi’s residence to submit our memorandum. With the Minister being absent, Jatni MLA talked with the former, informing him about our demand,” said a resident Ajay Jena. 

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