Mrunal Manmay Dash

Tension prevailed outside Barapada Engineering College in Bhadrak after staff of the college intensified their agitation against Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MLA Prafulla Samal and his son Prayaskanti Samal over alleged unpaid salary.

The college was in the news recently after the enforcement directorate (ED) carried out multiple raids in the state in connection with alleged land irregularities pertaining to the educational institution.

As per reports, the college staff who allegedly have not received their salary for the last 17 months have been protesting against the college authorities since long. However, they intensified their agitation after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) raided MLA Prafulla Samal and his son Prayaskanti Samal and summoned them in the alleged land irregularity case.

“This is not new. We have been protesting since the last five to seven years. This protest is because of two looters—Bhandaripokhari MLA Prafulla Samal and his son Lulu Samal (Prayaskanti Samal). The father-son duo has embezzled around Rs 200 crore from the salary of the college employees and from the lands. We will continue our protest until these two get arrested and sent to jail,” said a protester.

“Dr Harekrushna Mahtab had established this engineering college in 1957. However, after Prafulla Samal became an MLA, he took the college under his control cunningly. They managed to suppress anybody who tried to raise their voice against them. But not anymore. We will not buzz from here until they are arrested,” said another protester.

Similarly, another protester said, “No employee of the college has received salary since last 17 months. We were already getting a very low salary. And that too has been stopped since one and a half years. Except for the Principal, every employee is here protesting against the Samal family. We have complained to everybody—from the Collector to the 5T Chairperson, but nobody has ever paid heed to our complaints.”

It is pertinent to mention here that the father-son duo was summoned by the ED in the alleged Barapada Engineering College land scam case on Saturday. They have been asked to appear with all the relevant documents.

The summons was sent after the central probe agency conducted simultaneous raids at 10 places linked to Bhandaripokhari MLA Prafulla Samal.

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  • Partha Sarathi nayak