Other States

Protests growing against Odisha Minister

Tires being burnt to stop traffic at Bhawanipatna on Wednesday. A 12-hour strike was declared by BJP at Kalahandi district demanding Minister Dibya Shankar Mishra’s resignation.   | Photo Credit: BISWARANJAN ROUT

There have been growing protests against Odisha’s Minister of State for Home Dibya Shankar Mishra following the murder of a lady teacher in Kalahandi district last week.

Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party and Congress accused Mr. Mishra of having close relationship with Gobinda Sahu, promoter of Mahaling Anchalik Mahavidyalaya, who has reportedly confessed to killing the teacher. Police said on Wednesday that Sahu killed Mamita Meher, a teacher in Sunshine English Medium School, to stop her from revealing his extra-marital affairs.

After observing 12-hour-bandh in Kalahandi district on Wednesday, BJP enforced a 12-hour-bandh in Balangir district demanding the Minister’s ouster. It demanded the immediate arrest of the Minister and a CBI inquiry. A BJP delegation moved the State Human Rights Commission accusing the police of trying to protect the Minister.

 

Congress also took to the streets in Rourkela and Bhubaneswar demanding Mr. Mishra’s removal.

“It is utterly shameful. People have lost their confidence in the State police, which is trying to compromise the case,” said Sameer Mohanty, State BJP president.

Senior Congress leader Bhakta Charan Das demanded the Minister’s ouster if the government wanted to save itself from further embarrassment.

The private college which is in the eye of a storm is said to be a beneficiary of government largesse. Opposition parties alleged that senior Ministers and influential ruling party leaders were “entertained” on the campus.

The CAG’s 2014 annual technical inspection report on panchayati raj institutions says guidelines were flouted to help the private college. Audit had observed that funds earmarked for concrete road works were spent on works at the private college.

Western Odisha Development Council (WODC), which was constituted accelerate development in western districts, spent ₹3 lakh on lawns in the private college promoted by Sahu. WODC spent another ₹6 lakh on concrete lanes at the women’s hostel and corridor and building sidewall. The CAG said these were inadmissible projects executed depriving needy sectors.

During past one decade, the private college has been receiving a steady flow of Government funds from WODC for constructing additional classrooms, girls’ common room, boys’ hostel, library and halls.


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Printable version | Dec 9, 2021 11:20:25 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/protests-growing-against-odisha-minister/article37115562.ece

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