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Odisha Bandh Today After Farmers Reject Government Plea; Congress, BJP Extend Support

The farmers called for a dawn-to-dusk 12-hour bandh over their demands for price, pension and prestige. The police forces have been deployed across the state to take action against the agitators during the strike.

PTI

Updated:February 21, 2019, 9:07 AM IST
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Odisha Bandh Today After Farmers Reject Government Plea; Congress, BJP Extend Support
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Bhubaneswar: Rejecting the Odisha government's plea to refrain from the strike call on Thursday, farmers' body Navnirman Krishak Sangathan (NNKS) Wednesday said it would go ahead with the agitation without troubling the high school exam schedule that begins the day after.

The dawn-to-dusk 12-hour bandh by the farmers on Feb 21 demanding price, pension and prestige will not be a hindrance to smooth conduct of the matriculation examination.

The authorities already made it clear that question papers will reach the exam centres on Feb 22 morning," NNKS Convenor Akshay Kumar told reporters here.

Kumar said NNKS, Odisha's leading farmers' body, has given a 12-hour strike call on Thursday after the state government ignored their demands. The NNKS has been threatened by the state government to call off the strike in the name of the matric examination.

The police forces have been deployed across the state to take action against the agitators during the strike. However people of Odisha will never tolerate dictatorship," Kumar said.

Director General of Police R P Sharma said elaborate security arrangements have been made in view of the strike. Finance Minister S B Behera said that the strike will affect public life in the state and also the matriculation examination the next day.

The Utkal University has postponed all examinations scheduled on Thursday in view of the NNKS strike.

"It is for information of all concerned that all the examinations under Utkal University scheduled to be held on February 21 is postponed due to all Odisha strike by Naba Nirman Krushak Sanghathan," a statement issued by the university's Controller of Examinations said.

The rescheduled date of the examinations will be notified later, it added.

The opposition Congress party and BJP extended their support to farmers.

“The farmers have rights to express their opinion and protest in a democracy. The state government has time and again tried to throttle their voice. We will protest the anti-farmer policies of the state government,” BJP Odisha unite president Basant Panda said.

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