Himansu Shekhar Rout

The year 2023 will be a thing of the past in a few days. Odisha witnessed some major incidents that shocked the people. Here is a relook at some of those incidents.

Naba Das Murder: At the outset of the year, the people of the state were taken aback after a policeman, who was supposed to maintain law and order, yanked out his service revolver and shot dead Naba Kishore Das, the then health minister in the Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik cabinet, in the broad daylight in Jharsuguda. Das was on his way to attend a programme on January 29.

Bahanaga Train Tragedy: Another major incident that rocked the nation was the Bahanaga train tragedy in Balasore district which caused a colossal loss of human lives on June 2. As many as 296 people were killed while 1200 passengers were maimed for life. Later, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed chargesheet against three Railways officials-- a senior section engineer (Signals), a section engineer, and a technician who had been arrested in the train accident case.

Power Blackout During President's Odisha Event: On May 6, the nation was shocked when President Droupadi Murmu faced a nine-minute power blackout while she was delivering her convocation speech at Maharaja Sriram Chandra Bhanja Deo University in Baripada. The incident drew wide criticism from various quarters.

Cholera Outbreak In Rourkela: What was more shocking was the outbreak of Cholera in the Smart City Rourkela that allegedly claimed 15 lives and affected scores of others, puncturing the big claim of the government on safe drinking water. Contaminated water supplied through pipes was the main culprit.

Massive Cash Haul By I-T Dept: The Income Tax raids on the Odisha-based Boudh Distillery Pvt Ltd across three states detected Rs 350 crore of cash in five days. This is said to be the highest-ever cash seizure in the history of Income Tax raids in the country. As many as 176 bags of currency in the denomination of Rs 100, 200, and Rs 500 were counted at the SBI Main Branch in Bolangir. Officials of three branches of the State Bank of India (SBI) in Bolangir, Titlagarh, and Sambalpur managed to count all the seized cash, deploying over 3 dozen counting machines and 80 officials.

Terror Suspect Exposed: What was most shocking was that the people of Neulpur in Jajpur did not know that they were living with a Kashmiri fraudster and terror suspect Sayed Ishaan Bukhari till he was arrested by the STF of the Odisha Crime Branch recently. He is under the scanner of NIA, Central IB, Punjab Police, and Kashmir police over his alleged terror links.

Row Over Social Media Influencer Kamiya Jani:  The last part of 2023 saw a massive controversy over the entry of YouTuber Kamiya Jani into Srimandir along with VK Pandian. The Opposition created a hullabaloo alleging how the YouTuber, who has eaten beef and promoted the cuisine through her channel, was allowed to enter the temple. The Odisha government came under fire from the opposition despite the social media influencer's denial and clarifications.

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