Bhubaneswar: A Dalit couple from Western Odisha district of Bargarh marched for around 400 km to meet Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and request him for total prohibition in the state. The couple’s 11-day journey ended in despair as the duo couldn’t meet Patnaik at Naveen Niwas here today.
The couple – Goura Chandra Bhosagar (45) and his wife Shibani (35) – along with their 2-year-old daughter from Behera Gaon under Khuntapalli panchayat in the district embarked on their journey on June 14 after they were allegedly harassed by Excise officials at their village.
Shibani, a former Naib Sarpanch, had been supporting ani-liquor campaigns in her area owing which her house was raided in the first week of this month on charges of selling liquor at their house.
Besides, she was harassed and her house was vandalised when Gour was away.
Disturbed by the development, the couple went up to District Collector and SP to register their grievances. However, all fell on deaf ears.
The unwavering couple decided to take this matter to Chief Minister’s doorsteps seeking his intervention.
Today, the husband-wife pair reached the capital city where they received enormous support from prohibitionists.
Their perseverance paid off as they were guided to meet Excise Minister Shashi Bhusan Behera who promised them to look into the matter.
From there, the activists led by the couple went towards Naveen Niwas to put forth their grievance and submit a memorandum for manufacture and sale of liquor in the state. However, Airfield Police prevented them to meet Chief Minister.