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Odisha bandh: Farmers’ body call for 12-hour strike; No obstruction in HSC exams

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Bhubaneswar, Feb 21: Odisha's leading farmers' outfit will on Thursday observe a 12-hour bandh. The farmers' body Naba Nirman Krushak Sangathan (NNKS) has called for a 12-hours bandh in Odisha to protest against the poor policies of the Naveen Patnaik government.

The farmers in the state are demanding adequate price for their produce and pension.

Odisha bandh: Farmers’ body call for 12-hour strike; Congress, BJP support shutdown

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"The state government is ignoring our demands," NNKS convenor Akshay Kumar said, adding that they will create no hindrance in the conduct of the board exams.

While announcing his party's support to the NNKS's bandh call, Odisha Congress chief Niranjan Patnaik said,"Farmers are our top priority."

BJP Odisha unit president Basant Panda too backed the bandh. "The farmers have rights to express their opinion and protest in a democracy. The state government has time and again tried to throttle their voice. We will protest the anti-farmer policies of the state government," said Panda.

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The NNKS added that it was "forced" to call a bandh in Odisha after the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) government did not pay attention to their "genuine" demands.

No obstruction in HSC exams:

NNKS convenor Akshay Kumar, in the meantime, told news agency PTI that the farmers' outfit has rejected an appeal made by the Odisha government to not organise the bandh on February 21 in view of the annual High School Certificate (HSC) Examination.

Utkal University postpones exams:

Meanwhile, the city-based Utkal University has postponed all the examinations scheduled to be held on Thursday in view of Odisha bandh called by the Naba Nirman Krushak Sangathan (NNKS), a farmers' body in the state.

The Home Department of the state government on February 18 had urged the Sangathan to desist from the bandh saying it would affect students who will appear for their annual high school certificate examinations beginning February 22. However, the farmer's body defied the appeal and decided to go ahead with its plan.

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