Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Men, women, children and even elderly people have been living under house arrest like conditions for the last 11 days at the OTV and Tarang studio complex at Sarua in Khordha district.

Some contractual labourers have been staging dharna in front of the studio's gate and locked the front and the back gates of the complex. As the gates are locked, the people inside the complex have been forced to live like hostages and are fast running out of essential supplies.

Randhir Singh, father of OTV MD Jagi Mangat Panda, who is also inside the complex, on Tuesday sought Home Minister Amit Shah's help to protect the distressed hostages from police excess against his family and employees at the channel’s studio in the guise of investigation of the land issue.

Seeking deployment of forces at the site, Singh said, "We are being held hostages for the last 10 days. There are women, children, workers and our food supplies won’t last long."

He said that even though his family along with villagers has been working together to build and create thousands of jobs in the area, the ‘government has made the place a hell’.

In the wake of the arrest of the site in-charge of Sarua studio in Khordha, Anirudhha Panda, who was forcibly picked up by police in the middle of the night before he was put on arrest yesterday, Singh further said, "I have never seen police behaving like goondas.

Panda was woken up from his sleep at around 3.30 am on Tuesday by a posse of policemen who barged into the Sarua studio campus and broke open the door of the room in which Panda was sleeping. However, later on the same day, he was granted bail by the Additional District Judge Court (2), Khordha.

Adding to the instances of targeted harassment, the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Odisha Crime Branch on November 1 arrested Manoranjan Sarangi, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of OTV, despite a clean chit given by a Tehsil-appointed government ‘amin’ that there was no encroachment of land at the Sarua studio in Khordha district.

Besides, the Baghamari police had arrested an engineer and a supervisor working at the campus of the studio who approached the police with a complaint after they were attacked by a group of contract workers without provocation on October 31.

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