NRO and Kalahandi native Prof Digambar Patra of the American University of Beirut, Lebanon, has urged Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for a probe into the attack on peaceful demonstrators on August 28 in Kalahandi and bring the attackers to book.
He said that in the past few days there was a complete shutdown of Kalahandi in demand of converting Sardar Raja Medical College to a Government institution. The shutdown was called by independent and non-political organizations led by a central action committee, which was supported by all political parties, social and business organisations in Kalahandi.
Not to mention that there was a strong support from general people of Kalahandi, from village to town level, for this agitation, which was evident from the response the shutdown received in past two days. Perhaps such a level of success was to be seen for the first time in past two decades.
However, on August 28 last, a group of people attached some of the protestors, which included former Union Minister Bhakta Charan Das and a few people from Congress.
Kalahandi is a peaceful and peace loving region. Despite strong public frustration due to failure of Sardar Raja Medical College, people in Kalahandi are not used to violence. Kalahandi people do not prefer violence and have been agitating peacefully.
The attack, which happened on August 28, is extremely condemnable. Though such attack was targeted at Das and his party colleagues, it is highly regrettable and common people of Kalahandi have not taken such attack lightly. All the political parties, lawyers association, private bus owners association, traders association, labour unions etc. in Kalahandi have come together for the common interest of region and given their complete support for the cause without keeping any political bias. Therefore, people of Kalahandi were not expecting that any group used such situation for political revenge, as it would dilute the cause and demean the interest of the region.
The attackers, who tried to bring politics and disturb peaceful environment of Kalahandi, must be brought into legal action. Unfortunately, the police have made no arrest yet.