Sec 144 at venue of farmers’ rally; over 400 farmers detained

Bhubaneswar: Ahead of a mega farmers’ convention to be held in the State Capital today, hundreds of members of Navnirman Krushak Sanghathan have been detained by police at various places of the State today and prohibitory orders under section 144 of CrPC was clamped at the Hitech square here, which is the venue of the rally.

The police allegedly attempted to foil the rally and prevented the farmers entering Bhubaneswar. Cops also frisked the vehicles at various places including Hanspal square in Bhubaneswar on NH 16. Over 4000 farmers were detained in Bhubaneswar while they were on their way to attend the rally.

Police had a scuffle with farmers at Cuttack railway station after the forces detained them forcefully who were coming from Keonjahr area in Barbil-Puri express. The irate members of the organisation staged a rail-roko for quite some time at the Station.

Similar incident also was also reported in Bhubaneswar Station where hundreds of farmers coming from various places of Odisha were detained by police.

Dhenkanal police also held up some members of the farmers ‘outfit at the local station today while around 20 at Raghunathpur station in Jagatsinghpur district, 18 at Jajpur station have been kept from proceeding.

Condemning police action, Navnirman Krushak Sangathan advisor Soumya Ranjan Patnaik said “Government is afraid of farmers. ‘Satyagrah’ will be held at every farmer’s house soon”.

The commissionerate police had earlier arrested convenor of the social organisation Akshya Kumar and his assistant Seshadev Nanda while another farmer leader -Kulamani Barik- was taken to preventive custody yesterday.

Apprehending any eventuality, 50 platoons of force have been deployed in and around the Capital city. Prohibitory order has been slapped on the procession on National Highway passing through the town.

Meanwhile, the Pradesh Congress Krushak Cell supported the farmers’ move in this regard. The party has been supporting the farmers’ demand for price, pension and prestige and will continue to favour them, the cell president said at a media conference at the Congress State headquarters here. The grand old party also condemned the police action against the peasant leader Akshya Kumar and Seshadev.

Raising the issue, the Opposition parties created heavy noise in the Assembly today following which the deputy Speaker adjourned the House till 3 pm. Leader of Opposition Narasingh Mishra first raised the matter in the House which was rejected by the deputy Speaker following which fellow party legislators rushed to the well and shouted against the government.

Meanwhile, the State Assembly witnessed heavy ruckus over the matter following which the House was adjourned till 3pm.