PURI: Traffic on the Puri-Bhubaneswar NH-316 came to a grinding halt for five hours on Wednesday after Lulu Sena activists staged a road blockade protesting death of local Congress leader Sudarshan Swain in a clash between the Congress and BJD workers on May 16.
The activists also placed the body of 48-year-old Sudarshan in front of the Chandanpur police station and gheraoed it, demanding arrest of local BJD leader Sanjay Swain, who is also the former sarpanch of the area. When police tried to clear the agitators from the spot, the latter clashed with them and SDPO Alex Chandra Padhi sustained injuries.
According to Lulu Sena’s Lalitendu Bidyadhar Mohapara, who led the agitation, a Palli Sabha was in progress in Kotakana village under Bijay Ramchandrapur gram panchayat within Chandanpur police station limits on May 9 when some BJD supporters led by Sanjay attacked villagers. This led to a clash between the BJD and Congress workers in which Sudarshan was critically injured. He was undergoing treatment at Bhubaneswar and succumbed on Tuesday.
Receiving the information on Wednesday, Sanjay’s body was brought from Bhubaneswar to Chandanpur in a procession and the Lulu Sena activists blocked the NH-316 besides, gheraoing Chandanpur police station. They said, although an FIR was filed against 24 persons, no one has been arrested yet.
The agitators also demanded compensation of `20 lakh for the victim’s family and threatened to intensify the agitation if the government failed to take action in this regard. The Lulu Sena activists called off their agitation after five hours as the Magistrate assured action against the accused person. Police have registered a case of murder and further investigation is on.
Govt move to promote folk artistes
Bhubaneswar: The Culture Department on Wednesday formed Nagar Kala Sanskruti Sangha (NKSS) in nine urban local bodies (ULBs) of the State to promote folk artistes. These bodies will be operational under the municipal corporations of Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Sambalpur, Berhampur and Rourkela and municipalities of Puri, Baripada, Bhadrak and Balasore, said Culture Minister Ashok Panda.
The NKSS will be engaged in promoting Government schemes and programmes in ULBs through folk art.
A two-day sensitisation programme for officials of these bodies, hosted by Culture Department and UNICEF, also kicked off here on the day. The officials are being trained on preparation of micro-plan and calendar of activities as well as script writing at ULB level. The NKSS have been set up on the lines of Zilla Kala Sanskruti Sangha (ZKSS) and Block Kala Sanskruti Sangha (BKSS) that were launched at district and block-levels in 2011 by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to promote traditional artistes and folk art forms.
At present, 314 BKSS and 30 ZKSS have been formed in the State. There are over three lakh folk artistes and around 7,482 folk art groups.