Lawyers in undivided Koraput dist end strike

Bhubaneswar: After abstaining from court proceeding for 33 days, the striking advocates of undivided Koraput district finally called off their boycott and resumed work on Thursday.

Undivided Koraput Scheduled District Advocates Joint Action Coordination Committee's president Biresh Mohan Patnaik made the announcement after a meeting of the steering committee of the organisation at Jeypore in Koraput district on Wednesday.

"We have got positive assurances from the state government and are withdrawing the stir. However, we will observe a token strike during last two working days of every month until our demand of establishment of a permanent bench of Odisha High Court in undivided Koraput district is met." said Patnaik.

Notably, lawyers of four districts – Koraput, Nabarangpur, Malkangiri and Rayagada – had been boycotting all court activities since August 23. While representatives of bar associations from the region justified their demand for a HC bench at Jeypore before the CR Pal Commission in Bhubaneswar on September 20, they met chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday.

In a related development, representatives of Rourkela Bar Association are sheduled to depose before Justice C R Pal Commission today. An 11-member team of the bar association on Wednesday met the chief minister and demanded a HC Bench in the steel city.

Besides, an 18-member delegation of bar association of Bolangir met the chief minister on Wednesday and placed their demand for setting up of HC bench in the district.

Meanwhile, Kendrapara MP Baijayant Panda supported the demand of bar associations of Western Odisha. He said, "I believe setting up of HC bench in the region will help in the growth of the state."

Similar demands for establishment of HC bench are continuing in other parts of the state. Agitation for it has led to stalling of urban body polls in western Odisha. The Ganjam Bar Association is also continuing stir for establishment of High Court bench for south Odisha in Berhampur.