Cassian Baliarsingh

Tension erupted near Naveen Niwas, the official residence of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, in Bhubaneswar after a scuffle broke out between police and members of the Naba Nirman Krushak Sangathan who hit the capital streets on Monday morning over their various demands.

Hundreds of agitating farmers scuffled with the police on their way to gherao the CM’s residence alleging 'katni chanti' and other irregularities in paddy procurement. As a mark of protest, the members of the Naba Nirman Krushak Sangathan tried to march toward Naveen Niwas and dump quintals of paddy.

A group of farmers defied security guards and stormed towards the CM’s residence and tried to stage a demonstration, but were stopped by security personnel. Security personnel detained all the protestors and managed to bring the situation under control after hours of the protest.

However, question has been raised over the safety and security in the area.

The protesting farmers condemned the government's alleged anti-farmer policies. They accused the Naveen-led government of miserably failing to address the issues of the farmers and lamented that the government was trying to suppress the farmers’ voices.

“The state government only knows to give free rice and make easy availability to liquor to divert the attention of the youths of Odisha. So that no one questions the government’s inefficiency. But, the government’s lack of sincerity to address various issues of farmers will not take the state forward,” a protesting farmer said.

Another farmer alleged, “They are arresting us. This fascist government is arresting us instead of addressing our demands. They are trying to suppress the peasant movement. This is complete fascism.”