Bhubaneswar, Dec 14: The Odisha Assembly today witnessed unruly scenes and was then adjourned till lunch as opposition Congress members made a noisy demand to release the farmers who were detained at different parts of the state.
The farmers were allegedly detained by the police and prevented from attending a rally convened by Nabanirman Krushak Sangathan (NKS) in front of the Assembly today.
The issue was raised by Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra as soon as the House made obituary reference to ex-member Bhanu Charan Naik who passed away on December 12.
Mishra demanded suspension of the Question Hour and discussion on the farmers' issue. As Deputy Speaker Sadan Marandi initiated the Question Hour, Congress members rushed to the Well of the House and shouted anti-government slogans.
Marandi soon adjourned the House till 3 PM. Unable to hold discussions, Congress MLAs rushed to Raj Bhavan and apprised Governor S C Jamir on the illegal detention of farmers.
They also requested the Governor to intervene in the matter and demanded immediate release of the farmers from police custody. Terming the police action as "undemocratic", Mishra said "This is a clear violation of the farmers' rights."
"We demand immediate and unconditional release of the farmers who have been kept forcefully at railway stations and bus stops. Police thrashed the peasants at various places and some of them sustained injuries.
We met the Governor seeking his intervention and he assured us of an investigation," said Congress MLA and Opposition Chief Whip Taraprasad Bahinipati.
Agriculture minister Pradeep Maharathy said outside the House that he was always prepared to discuss on the farmers' issue. "The Leader of Opposition raised the matter in the House.
But, I have nothing to do with that as the Deputy Speaker denied him," Maharathy said. Maharathy clarified he has not received any memorandum from the NKS in regard to the demands of the farmers.
"I am not aware about their problems. I am always ready to discuss farmers' issues," he said. On the detention of farmers at different parts of the state, Maharathy said "Ask the Chief Minister in this regard."
Congress leaders claimed the police detained over 400 farmers who were on their way to a rally under the banner of Navnirman Krushak Sangathan.
Many of them were detained at various railway stations including Dhenkanal, Cuttack, Bhubaneswar, Raghunathpur in Jagatsinghpur, Keonjhar and Jajpur.