Reported by Santosh Jagdev
Bhubaneswar, Feb 3:
They are back. Undeterred by the fact that this would be the last session of the 14th Assembly – and a real short one at that – nearly a dozen organisations pitched their tents at the Lower PMG Square, the customary venue for protest demonstrations in the city, on the first day of the session on Monday.
Cries of ‘Naveen Patnaik hai hai’ rent the air as the demonstrators raised slogans against the state government in full throttle.
Hundreds of disabled persons, under the banner of Rashtriya Viklang Manch (RVM), staged a rally that began from Master Canteen square to the Lower PMG here protesting against the introduction and passing of the Disabilities Bill in order to promote and protect the fundamental rights and freedoms of persons with disabilities in the present form.
The protestors demanded a relook at several provisions of the Bill including the definition of low vision at serial number-11 of the Bill, section 32 on identification of post, scheme of reservation as contained in section 33 of the bill, section 33 (3) of the bill regarding age relaxation, section 73 (1) on constitution of national commission for persons with disabilities, section 83 action by appropriate authorities on recommendation of the national commission and section 98 special court.
“We have submitted a memorandum to Governor S C Jamir requesting him to forward it to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to take immediate and necessary action on these issues,” the Sangha members added.
Among the other organisations which staged rallies and demonstrations at the Lower PMG were Anchalik Paribesh Surakhya Sangh from Jharsuguda, Bichar Jana Kalyan Ward Member Sangha, Nikhila Odisha NCPL Karmachari Sangha, Asthayi Lunch Driver and Khalasi Mahasangha, Odisha Ayush Doctors Association and Text Book Press Mazdoor Sangha.
A pall of gloom has, however, descended on the tent put up by the striking retrenched PLP teachers demanding reinstatement after the death of one of the protestors Subas Chandra Lenka, who had been on a dharna for nearly a year, on Sunday.