Ramakanta Biswas

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Human Rights Commission (OHRC) has issued a notice to the Odisha government, seeking reports over the measures being taken to stop illegal road-blocking protests.

The rights body has given three weeks deadline to the State principal Chief Secretary and Director General of Police (DGP) to submit a report regarding the measures taken to curb blatant obstructions of national and state highways by public over trivial issues.

The Commission has observed that even as blocking of roads is a punishable offence, people are blocking roads to fulfil their demands which creates considerable inconvenience for the public. Besides, taking advantages of road blockades, anti-socials destroy private and public properties, it said.

Moreover, the OHRC noted that there is no necessity of road blocking agitations as there are other means of protest.

Notably, OHRC chairperson Justice Bimal Prasad Das on his way to Bhubaneswar from Cuttack on Monday came across a road blockade in the aftermath of an accident near Pratapnagari. He witnessed that vehicular movement on the National Highway 16 came to a grinding halt due to the protest, much to the inconvenience of the commuters.

Although the local police later made arrangements for passage of the vehicle of Justice Das, other vehicles remained stranded for hours due to the protest. Taking note of the incident, the OHRC chief filed a petition and issued notice to the state government.