Land losers to blockade Puri from Feb 6

OST Bureau

Puri, Jan 20:

The all party action committee of the Puri Bhusampati Surakshya Parishad has decided to put Puri city under siege beginning February 6 by blocking all roads connecting Puri city to protest against the administration’s indifference to solve the dispute over property rights in Puri.

The parishad decided not to allow entry of any official, minister, leaders and vehicle with red beacons into the city at its all party action committee meeting held at the Dasavataar Mutt here on Sunday, said parishad sources.

Later, Jatni Ryot Surakshya Committee and Puri Bhusampati Surakshya Parishad will jointly gherao Naveen Niwas, the official residence of chief minister Naveen Patnaik, the sources added.

The sources also maintained that the committee also decided to rope in the villagers of Puri block whose lands have been acquired due to faulty policies of the government for their blockade of Puri city.

Reports said a meeting of eight such villages will be organised in the Mukteswar temple premises in the Sadar area here on Tuesday for including them in the stir to blockade Puri to press for fulfilment of their demands.

Sources said the administration has lost its sleep over the parishad’s all party action committee decision to agitate in view of the forthcoming general elections. Agitations have been continuing for over a decade demanding solution to the land dispute in Puri.

Despite chief minister issuing an order in 2006 to solve land disputes in Puri using guidelines issued by the Supreme Court in a case of similar nature, no effort has been made to implement it.

The Government and higher officials have been blamed for the lapses on several occasions in the past. Whenever there has been an agitation, the government has come out with an assurance that the problem would be solved to defuse the situation. The Puri Bhusampati Surakshya Parishad and the Jatni Ryot Surakshya Committee, at a general body meeting held recently, decided against holding discussions with the government this time as it had ‘betrayed’ them earlier on several occasions.

It may be recalled here that the government, through two notifications in 1992 and the Orissa Estate Abolition (OEA) courts, transferred hundreds of acres of land possessed and enjoyed by the people which they had purchased from different mutts many years ago into the custody of the Sri Jagannath Temple Administration following which the land documents held by them became invalid.

People have been advised to re-register the lands in their names.  Sri Jagannath Temple Administration has challenged the Odisha High Court’s decision in the Supreme Court in a case pertaining to this issue. The case at present is sub-judice.

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