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Kalinga Nagar economic blockade to continue
January 27, 2006 09:03 IST
Efforts to end the 25-day-long blockade of the National Highway-200 by tribals following the January two police firing in Kalinga Nagar in Orissa came a cropper as the agitators rejected the government plea on Thursday to end the stalemate.
Confirming that the talks had broken down, Chakradhar Haiburu, president of the Bisthapan Virodhi Jana Manch, which has been spearheading the agitation, said they had decided not to lift the blockade, as one of their main demands - unconditional release of arrested tribal leader Rabindranath Jarika - had not been met.
Jajpur District Collector Arabinda Padhee termed it as 'most unfortunate.'
"We had a cordial meeting (on Tuesday) and discussed all problems," Padhee said about his meeting with leaders of the Manch. He, however, felt that 'some vested interests' did not want the agitation to end.
The district collector assured them that he would arrange their meeting with the ministerial committee formed to probe the issues of resettlement and rehabilitation.
Haiburu said Jarika was released from jail only on bail granted by the Additional District and Sessions Judge, Jajpur. "The release was not unconditional," he said, adding that the agitation leaders would meet in Kalinga Nagar on January 30 to chalk out their future course of action.
About 12 tribals were killed in police firing during a demonstration over acquisition of land for the industrialisation of Kalinga Nagar. Since then, hundreds of tribals have been obstructing the Daitari-Paradip expressway, affecting the economy of the area.