Naveen faces farmers ire, takes back gate to enter office

Posted By: PTI
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Bhubaneswar, Dec 24: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik was on Tuesday forced to enter the State Secretariat through the back gate as agitating farmers blocked his car at the main entrance.

The protesters under the banner of Nabanirman Krushak Sanghathan (NHS), who earlier had created din in the Assembly by raising slogans from visitors' gallery, rushed towards the CM's motorcade and prevented his car from entering secretariat premises through the main gate.

As the demonstrators lay prostate on the road facing the main gate, Patnaik got stuck on the road for about five minutes before his vehicle took a turn to take him into the secretariat building through the back gate. Later, police charged towards the demonstrators and took 26 of them into custody.

"This is a criminal incident. We have registered cases against them and will take stringent action," Twin City Commissioner of Police R P Sharma told reporters.

"This is a deaf government. We have been demanding bonus of Rs 500 per quintal of paddy as the cultivators have lost everything due to cyclone Phailin and subsequent floods.

Our members are on hunger strike for last 15 days. Therefore, we protested in a democratic manner," NKS leader Akshya told reporters after being rounded up by police. Terming the incident as an act of "terrorism", Panchayati Raj minister Kalpataru Das said the group did not represent the farmers' community.

"They deliberately create such incident to draw media attention," Das said, adding that the government was in touch with "real" farmer organisations.


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