Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Jagatsinghpur, Nov 15:
The seven youth arrested for staging protest at Biridi during Odisha Agriculture Minister Pradeep Maharathy’s visit to Kantilo in Jagatsinghpur district on Saturday were sent to judicial custody today following rejection of their bail pleas by a local court here.
The next date for hearing in the matter has been fixed for December 21.
The Agriculture Minister who has been in the eye of the storm for his controversial remarks on the current spate of farmer suicides in the state had to face severe protest from farmers at Biridi Balia Chhak on the Cuttack-Jagatsinghpur road on Saturday, while he was returning after attending a children’s jamboree at Kantilo Ghadimula in Jagatsinghpur district.
More than 50 members of the Naba Nirman Krushak Sangathan and local farmers suddenly appeared at Biridi Balia Chhak and stopped the minister’s car while staging a demonstration in front of it. The protesters who shouted slogans like “Agriculture Minister step down” slept on the road stopping movement of the minister’s car.
The minister’s car was detained for about half an hour. Local police which had no advance information about the demonstration reached the spot late. Police had to resort to baton charging to clear the road off the agitating farmers to make way for the minister’s car.
The agitators demanded Rs 5 lakh compensation to the family of the farmers who had committed suicide due to crop loss. They also demanded implementation of the Farmer Commission report.
In the scuffle that ensued between the police and the agitators some farmers sustained injuries and seven were detained by the police for obstructing movement of the minister’s car.
The detained youth were arrested today and forwarded to court.