Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Dec 18:
Four months after starting their peaceful agitation, the kin of deceased employees of Odisha Energy Department today turned violent and vandalized the residence of Energy Minister Pranab Prakash Das in Bhubaneswar.
Commissionerate Police have detained 30 agitators in connection with the incident. Besides, cops have been deployed in the area and the situation remains under control.
The incident happened this morning when members of the ‘Mruta Bidyut karmachari Dustha Paribar Thaithan Samiti’ were protesting in front of the Surya Nagar residence of the minister. Agitators suddenly turned violent and pelted eggs, potatoes, onions, stones and broke flower pots, glasses and window panes of the house.
“We have been sitting here since past four months demanding jobs against our deceased family members. We lost patience today and took to egg, onion and stone pelting. The cops also used force against us. Many of us have sustained injuries on their heads and have broken hands because of police excesses. We would continue our agitation no matter what,” said an elderly woman speaking to us from the spot.
The minister, however, refused to lodge a complaint with the police and said that government is taking steps to compensate the families.
“Whatever they did today, they did because of anger and frustration. I see no problem in it. Employment is a technical matter. We have a gazette notification that mandates that we can’t employ on rehabilitation. We can’t immediately train the next of kin of a deceased employee. Besides, there are other complications. The issue had been discussed in the assembly and we had formed a committee to see how they can receive more insurance, remuneration and other benefits,” said Minister Das.
Notably, the relatives of deceased workers of the department had been conducting a marathon agitation at Lower PMG of Bhubaneswar since past four months. Yesterday, they had threatened to take law into their hands, should their demands go unnoticed.