Pradeep Pattanayak

The agitating panchayat samiti members had a scuffle with the police at the Sishu Bhawan square in Bhubaneswar on Friday when the protestors were marching towards the Odisha CM's residence, Naveen Niwas. 

As per reports, a total of 6,700 samiti members, both male and female, from different parts of the state staged an agitation in Bhubaneswar on Friday to press for their demands. Their demands include salary and rights at par with sarpanchs.

They took out a massive rally to gherao Naveen Niwas. As they were nearing the Sishu Bhawan square, they confronted the police personnel, who tried to stop them. Subsequently, a scuffle between the samiti members and policemen broke out. Later, some agitators were taken into preventive custody. 

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“We have been staging a sit-in for the last 120 days, demanding fulfillment of 12 demands. The government has also spoken to us. Yet, we have been betrayed,” said an agitating member. 

“The remuneration of sarpanchs and samiti members was at Rs 2,350. On March 12, the government announced that the remunerations of the sarpanchs and samiti members have been increased to Rs 10,000 and Rs 7,500 respectively. Why this disparity? Is it not betrayal?” he asked.

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