Congress vows to intensify stir on last day of ‘Adhikar Yatra’

Phulbani: Coming down heavily on the government on the concluding day of its ‘Adhikar Yatra organised to protest the killing of five innocent villagers in firing by SOG personnel in Kandhamal district recntly, the Congress today vowed to expand its agitation to other parts of the State in the future demanding protection of tribals and dalits.

Top party leaders like Congress SC cell chairman K Raju, PCC president Prasad Harichandan, AICC spokesperson Bhakta Das, former chief minister Hemananda Biswal, AICC Odisha-in-charge BK Hariprasad and others took part in the rally on the last day. They unanimously decided to intensify the stir against the government for the cause of tribal people.

“The ‘Adhikar Yatra’ will not stop here. We will spread the movement with the tribals and dalits across the State throughout the year in every block, panchayat and district,” Congress SC cell chairman K Raju said.

Echoing a similar view, AICC spokesperson and former MP Bhakta Das demanded adequate steps for the development of dalits failing which the agitation will spread to other parts.

“This is the beginning of another big movement of dalits and tribals. If government takes proper steps for their protection, we would keep quiet. Otherwise, we would take the agitation to other parts,” Das said.

PCC president Prasad Harichandan held chief minister Naveen Patnaik directly responsible for the killing of six tribals.

“It was a government-sponsored killing. The chief minister himself holds the Home portfolio and the SoG and police, which are working under him, killed the tribals. Therefore, the chief minister is responsible for the killing,” Harichandan said.

On the other hand, BJD criticised the Congress’ movement dubbing it as blowing their own triumph. “Congress is politicising the issue by observing a padayatra, which has not been accepted by the people. They are just explaining their own activities,” BJD spokesperson Surya Patra said.

“The chief minister has provided Rs 7 lakh compensation to the family of each deceased and a government job to their kin. A judicial commission has been set up for the inquiry,” he added.

The Congress had started the ‘Adhikar Yatra’ on August 9 from Gumudumuha, where the firing had taken place.