Pradeep Pattanayak

More than one hundred youth Congress activists were taken into preventive custody during their protest in Bhubaneswar on Friday. 

Protesting against the corruption in students’ scholarship distribution, employment and discrimination against Odia contractors, today the youth Congress activists took out a rally from Forest Park. They were to gherao Naveen Niwas. In order to prevent the activists from going towards Naveen Niwas, a huge number of policemen were deployed at the location. As they were about to proceed towards the residence of Odisha Chief Minister, the police stopped them, leading to a scuffle. Later, the cops took the agitating activists into preventive custody. 

The activists were vituperative against the ruling BJD dispensation. 

“In Odisha, a non-Odia is ruling the state. In Odisha, students’ scholarships are being misappropriated,” alleged an activist while being taken into the van. 

Another activist said, “Non-Odias’ rule in Odisha is increasing. Odia contractors are being neglected in their own state. The situation has come to such a pass that the Odia contractors have to pawn their lands.”

Notably, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) recently suspected fraud and corruption in the implementation of the post-matric scholarship (PMS) scheme under direct benefit transfer (DBT) in Odisha.

In its report on the performance audit of the implementation of DBT in payment of PMS to eligible students in the state, the CAG said, "Due to the absence of detailed checklist for inspection of private educational institutions, 5,185 beneficiaries of 15 ineligible institutions, had been granted PMS, amounting to Rs 15.79 crore, during financial years 2016-17 to 2016-20."

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