Odisha CM orders for installation of new statue of Nabakrushna Choudhuri amid row

Bhubaneswar/Angul: Amid row over distorted statue of former Odisha chief minister and Gandhian freedom fighter Nabakrushna Choudhuri installed inside Gopabandhu Park in Angul, the State government today ordered to replace it resembling one installed inside assembly premises.

The fresh full-sized statue installed yesterday for the second time where the noted freedom fighter was wearing a dhoti triggered sharp reaction as the bottom wear resembled a ‘lahenga’, to many.

Dissenting people locked the gate of the park today to express their resentment.

Following this, a high-level team of officials will visit Baji Rout Chhatrabas (gents’ hostel) tomorrow. The decision was taken acting on instructions by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

The team will comprise Odisha Bridge & Construction Corporation (OBCC) Limited Managing Director, Odia Language Literature & Culture Department Joint Director and noted sculptor Jayanta Das.

Initially, a statue of the Gandhian freedom fighter had Western attire with a tight-necked shirt and full pant, which was strongly resented across the State including Choudhuri’s daughter Krishna Mohanty.

“We have ample photos of my Bapi (father Nabakrushna Choudhuri) with us, which must be followed while making his statue. None of the freedom fighters should be disrespected and their statues be appropriately constructed. I oppose any carelessness in this regard,” Choudhuri’s daughter stated.

Chief Advisor to the Chief Minister R Balakrishnan has apprised a team of delegates from various Gandhian outfits that permission from state Culture Department will henceforth be mandatory for the construction of any Odia freedom fighter’s statue and violation thereof will invite punishment.

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