Staff Reporter

Launch a programme of ‘choking revenue-generation sources’

Some services are exempted to ensure that people are not inconvenienced

Lawyers block NH 42 near Sambalpur

BHUBANESWAR: Intensifying the agitation in support of establishment of a High Court bench in Western Orissa, lawyers across 10 districts launched a week-long programme of “choking the revenue generation sources” of State Government on Monday.

Lawyers in groups organised picketing in front of important offices such as commercial tax, sales tax, regional transport officer, revenue divisional commissioner and district magistrates. Courts could not function in 10 western Orissa districts as lawyers locked the main gates at several places.

However, lawyers kept banks, insurance, district treasuries, certificate issuing section of tehsil offices and rural water supply and sanitation department out of purview of the agitation programme to ensure that people did not face problem.

“We have also decided to observe Utkal Divas (April 1), foundation day of Orissa, as Day of Demands. Lawyers will also seek public support during the week-long agitation for a permanent High Court bench,” Manoranjan Das, General Secretary of Sambalpur District Bar Association, said.

Hundreds of advocates blocked National Highway 42 on the outskirt of Sambalpur town and later forced closure of several government offices during the day.

Similar was the situation in other districts such as Sundargarh, Bargarh, Bolangir, Debgarh and Jharsuguda.

Little attendance of employees in government offices was witnessed in Bolangir town.

Lawyers charged that the State Government had been avoiding committing on establishment of a High Court bench for long.

The All Western Orissa Bar Associations (AWOBA) has already rejected the State Government’s appointment of one-man commission to study the probable places for setting up High Court bench.