Home India Politics Protests in Orissa over varsity land issue

Protests in Orissa over varsity land issue


Bhubaneswar : Orissa’s opposition Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Thursday organised separate demonstrations against the state government’s irregularities in acquiring land for a proposed university.

The Orissa High Court Tuesday quashed the process of land acquisition for the proposed Vedanta University and directed the authorities to return the acquired lands to their owners.

Hundreds of activist of the Congress’ youth wing staged protests, burnt effigies of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik after taking out processions in Berhampur and Bolangir towns, 179 and 327 km respectively from here.

A senior Congress leader here said the protesters also submitted memorandums, addressed to Governor M.C. Bhandare, to the local authorities.

The memorandums asked the governor to dismiss the state government for not following the rules, he told IANS.

Activists of the BJP staged demonstrations at Sambalpur town, 317 km from here.

The activists marched carrying posters and banners and burnt effigies of the chief minister after assembling in front of the office of the district collector, a BJP leader said.

Similar protests by the activists of the two parties were also reported from many other places in the state, including from Jagatsingpur, Rourkela and Biramitrapur.

The Anil Agarwal Foundation, promoted by NRI industrialist and chairman of Britain’s Vedanta Resources Anil Agarwal, has proposed to set up a multi-disciplinary Vedanta University near the Konark-Puri marine drive, some 60 km from here.

The university was to come up in over 6,000 acres of land with a phased investment of Rs.150 billion ($3.5 billion).

After the high court’s direction to return the land acquired for the proposed university, the chief minister said his government will examine the decision and take appropriate action.