Reported by Santosh Jagdev
Bhubaneswar, Jan 3:
It appears that Navnirman Krushak Sangathan (NKS), which did the unthinkable by breaching the seemingly impregnable security cordon around Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik twice, is the Public Enemy No 1 for the BJD government in the state.
Not satisfied with dumping in jail NKS activists on a peaceful protest dharna for their ‘sin’ of coming before the CM’s entourage in an effort to draw his attention to the plight of farmers in the state, the Commisonerate police has not spared even a lone artist for his ‘crime’ of protesting the treatment to the NKS activists.
Sudarsan Biswal, an artist by profession, was arrested by the commissionerate police today for protesting against the arrest of 26 NKS activist on December 24 last year. Dressed like a farmer with a garland of vegetables around his neck, the 36-old year Biswal of Puri was walking from Jayadev Bhawan towards Capital hospital here with his hands and legs tied with chains in a symbolic protest when he was taken into custody.
He was detained by the police for four hours before being let off.
Condemning the high-handedness of the police, Biswal said; “All that I was doing was to protest against the anti-farmer policies of the state government and demand the release of the NKS activists lodged in Jharpada jail.”
Expressing dismay at the imposition of section 307 (attempt to murder) against the peacefully protesting NKS activists, the artist said; “They were not criminals by any stretch of imagination and there was absolutely no justification for slapping sec 307 against them.”
Why couldn’t the government, which was announcing sops for all sections of society, accept the perfectly legitimate demand for Rs 2, 000 pension to every farmer family and an additional Rs 500 bonus per quintal of paddy, he wondered.