Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: At a time when unrest at IMFA is threatening the livelihood of many, a group of protestors led by the local citizens committee today staged a demonstration outside the Ortel Head Office in Bhubaneswar without prior notice and illegally locked up the main gate demanding eviction of the office.

The demonstration by some locals was led by committee's general secretary, Ajit Dash.

The committee alleged that the land, on which the Ortel office currently stands, was actually occupied by a school in 1995. However, in 2004, in view of its future expansion, BDA allotted the property to Ortel on lease.

Alleging that Ortel misused its powers to take control of the land, the committee urged the state government to cancel the lease and break the tie-up it has maintained with Ortel and construct a multi-storey shopping complex, daily vegetable market along with small shops on the land.

“We want the land to be used for collective benefit of the masses. The tax collected from a single organisation won’t yield much, but if the land is used for collective benefit, it will lead to people's welfare and more revenue will be generated,” said Ajit Dash.

On the other hand, Ortel said it is unaware of the reason behind such action. Several other locals also opposed the demonstration and condemned the act against the company that provides cable and broadband services to lakhs of people apart from employment & livelihood support to hundreds of families.

Chhittaranjan Nayak, Executive Vice-President of Ortel, said “We have been operating this company for the past 15-16 years. But till today, we never faced such situation. As long as there is no official notice and information, how would we know what’s happening.”

An employee of Ortel said “One Ajit Dash sat on a hunger strike outside the office gate. He along with Soubhagya Barik Khanna and hundred others barged into the premises and manhandled us. We immediately informed Chandrasekharpur police, CP & DCP, but got no response from them. We were surprised when we dialed 100, someone answered that police will not interfere in such civil dispute cases.”

“We are not secure, and until police arrests the demonstrators, we along with our families will stage dharna in front of DCP office from tomorrow,” the employee added.