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40 Cong workers court arrest demanding release of Pradip Majhi

Umerkote: At least 40 Congress workers, including women, courted arrest while hundreds of party workers gheraoed the Umerkote police station today demanding immediate release of former MP Pradip Majhi from Umerkote Sub Jail in Nabarangpur district.

According to reports, the Congress workers led by Gajendra Nayak took out a rally in Umerkote in the morning in support of Majhi and arrived at the Sub Jail. While demonstrating in front of the jail, some Congress workers tried to barge into the jail and jostled with the police. Police later arrested about 40 Congress workers.

“Our leader Pradip Majhi is innocent. Police has deliberately arrested him and put him behind the bars. Our men courted arrest today in support of Majhi demanding his release from the jail. If the Naveen Patnaik government remains adamant, we will intensify our agitation in the coming days,” Nayak said.

Asked about the situation, Umerkote SDPO Gopinath Manipatra said the situation is normal at present. “But the police has taken adequate precaution to ward off any untoward incident.”

Majhi along with 17 Congress workers are on a hunger strike inside the Umerkote Sub Jail since June 25 a day after they were arrested by the police.

But as the condition of Majhi and five others deteriorated last night, the jail authorities admitted three Congress workers to the Umerkote Community Health Centre (CHC) today.

It may be mentioned that Majhi, along with 17 Congress workers, has been on hunger strike inside the Umerkote Sub Jail since June 25, a day after they were arrested by the police on the charge of ransacking the Raighara forest range and assaulting police and forest personnel.

The Congress activists allegedly entered the range office forcibly and caused heavy damage to it before beating up Ranger Kumar Khara and Raighara ASI Bulu Patnaik.

They were staging a demonstration demanding immediate allotment of forest land patta to the tribals and conduct of a fresh survey to identify eligible poor beneficiaries of ration cards.

Soon after their arrest, Police forwarded to the court which remanded them to judicial custody.

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