Apprehending a major law and order situation in the state capital, the Odisha government on Wednesday foiled the proposed rally of farmers here by withdrawing permission for the gathering and arresting a large number of peasant activists. Navnirman Krushak Sangathan (NKS), a non-political farmers’ organisation, had planned a massive gathering to protest before the state Assembly to put forth their demand of price, respect and pension for farmers.
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However, the police detained the farmer activists at different places of the state to ensure that they could not enter the state capital.
The state government’s action of detaining farmers and banning the convention was condemned by Opposition leaders in the Assembly on Wednesday.
Though the Commissionerate of Police, Bhubaneswar-Cuttack,had earlier given permission to NKS for holding the rally at lower PMG Square here, it later denied the permission and declared the gathering illegal.
In fact, police started the arrests from yesterday night.
Earlier, NKY state Convenor Akshya Kumar and his deputy Sesadev Nanda were arrested and sent to jail for three days in a bid to foil the farmers’ rally.
NKY advisor S R Patnaik then vowed that the farmers across the state have taken the government’s action as a challange.
Patnaik, edior of a local daily, was also arrested by the police today and later released.
Police detained farmers from Cuttack, Bhubaneswar and other railway stations where they had gathered to travel for the convention in Bhubaneswar.
While over 400 farmers were detained on yesterday night in the state capital, the police today stopped vehicles from entering Bhubaneswar on all entry points to the city.
Vehicles carrying farmers were stopped and the farmers were arrested.