Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Dec 14:
In an apparent bid to foil the scheduled Chasi Samavesh (farmers’ convention) of Navanirman Krushak Sangathan (NKS) here, police have detained hundreds of farmers at various places across Odisha citing law and order reason.
Policemen were seen halting buses coming towards Bhubaneswar and checking presence of NKS members in the vehicles.
Section 144 of CrPC was clamped at Hi-tech square here and around 400 farmers were detained by police from the spot. Worth mentioning, the NKS had called for a mega rally from Hi-Tech Medical College and Hospital Square to Lower PMG.
Besides, police detained around 50 farmers in Kendrapara, 4 in Tirtol, 20 in Raghunathpur, 60 in Keonjhar and 3 farmers in Bhapur.
Police also took the convenor of NKS, Soumya Ranjan Patnaik into preventive custody from Rasulgarh Chhak here.
“The Naveen Patnaik-led BJD government has declared war against the farmers of Odisha. The government might be happy after foiling the farmers’ convention using police force but a satyagraha begins from today for the rights of the farmers,” Patnaik said.
Some farmers staged a road blockade on NH at Chhatia in Jajpur district protesting their detention by police while they were on the way to Bhubaneswar to attend the convention. Vehicular movement was disrupted for a long time in the route. The blockade was withdrawn after intervention of police following which normalcy returned.
“We have taken several farmers into preventive custody. Going by their previous record of immobilising national highways and creating law and order problems, we had to do this. Several times, we conducted meetings with them to scale down their numbers but when they didn’t, such preventive detentions had to be made,” said Satyabrata Bhoi, DCP, Bhubaneswar.
Around 30 peasants were yesterday detained at Cuttack railway station who had boarded Barbil-Puri Express train to Bhubaneswar. An equal number of farmers were detained in Keonjhar and around 20 in Jajpur. Besides, around 40 NKS members were yesterday taken into preventive custody from Bhubaneswar railway station who had come to the city for the rally.
Notably, NKS had called for the mass convention here seeking price, prestige and pension for the farmers.