Reported by Santosh Jagdev
Bhubaneswar, Feb 17:
Jayanta Kumar Panda, a peon in Balasore Mahila College of Gopalgan, Balasore, has threatened to commit self immolation along with his family on Wednesday if he is not given grant-in-aid pay by then.
Panda launched a hunger strike along with his wife and mother near Raj Bhawan on Monday.
Talking to OST, Jayanta said, “I joined as a peon in Balasore Mahila College on 22 December 1986. The State Government notified that the College will get grant-in-aid from 1 June 1994 and accordingly, 16 employees got the aid. But I did not get the grant due to the mala fide intention of Dr Antaryami Panda, principal in charge of the college.”
Panda said he was placed in the +3 stream after the bifurcation of the college in 2003 and served there till 2010. “But while the others in the +3 wing got grant-in-aid pay, I didn’t. When the state government decided to provide me grant-in-aid, the principal in charge Ms Mitra Mohapatra forced me to join in plus two wing. A new peon was appointed in + 3 in my place and his name was recommended for grant-in-aid,” Jayanta alleged.
Even favourable orders from the Education Tribunal and the Odisha High Court in 2005 did not help. “The staff of the Director of Higher Education demanded money which I could not pay. So, no action was taken on the Court order,” Pnada said with a heavy heart.
The harassed peon said he had approached every authority about his plight including the college president (Additional District Magistrate), district Collector, Balasore, Director of Higher Education Odisha, Commissioner-cum-Secretary of Higher Education, Chief Secretary, State’s Chief Minister and State’s Governor, but in vain.
“I am unable to run my family (with wife, mother and three children) with the meagre amount starting from Rs 65 in 1986 to Rs 1700 at present paid by the management,” said Jayanta.
“I have faith in law and will continue fighting for my demand. If my demands were not met after two days, I will commit suicide by burning with my wife and 80-year-old mother before the Raj Bhawan,” Panda threatened.