Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack, Mar 17:
On the completion of one year of harrowing Namtara firing incident, Odisha Congress today pulled up Naveen Patnaik government for failing to ban alcohol in the state.
The party organised a women’s convention in Cuttack today to remember the incident and launched a scathing attack on BJD government for police excesses in Namtara, delay in subsequent investigation and failure to curb overall liquor trade in the state.
“The women of Odisha are being grinded because of this trade while the crime rate continues to spiral. The Naveen Patnaik led Odisha Government turns a blind eye to the issues of women simply because it can earn fat revenues as excise duty,” alleged All India Mahila Congress (AIMC) President and AICC Spokesperson Shobha Oza addressing the gathering.
Oza further reiterated that the Congress would go to any extent to curb the liquor trade in the state.
Addressing the gathering, PCC President Prasad Harichandan questioned the motive of the government behind the delay in Namtara firing investigation.
“One year has passed, but the RDC enquiry is yet to submit its report. How much more time do they need,” questioned Harichandan.
Hundreds of party workers led by Oza, Harichandan, AIMC General Secretary Varsha Gaikwad, CWC member Sushila Tiriya, Odisha Congress co-in-charge Subhankar Sarkar marched to RDC’s office and submitted a memorandum.
“We are not going to stop here. We would show the government the power of women, if they fail to take concrete action,” said Mahila Congress president Sasmita Behera.
Notably, on March 8, 2015, over a hundred residents of Namatara village in Kendrapara district – including women were injured when police opened fire and lathi charged to disperse the crowd that were protesting demanding closure of a wine shop in the village.