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Party into 2014

Classical tag

Sahitya Akademi's linguistic committee, which was appointed by the Union culture ministry, accepted the state government's application to give Odia the status of a classical language in July. Odia becomes the first language from the Indo-Aryan linguistic group to accomplish the feat and will get a one-time grant of Rs 100 crore for research and development of the language along with a Rs 5-crore subsequent grant every year


The cyclone ripped through the state on October 12, though with lesser intensity than apprehended. The state government, which had learnt a cruel lesson from the 1999 super cyclone that claimed nearly 10,000 lives, evacuated around nine lakh people this time. The United Nation honoured the state government for taking timely action

Deposit scam

The state government estimated that sham deposit-collection companies had duped nearly 6.89 lakh investors of Rs 4,375 crore. It registered 280 cases against 127 companies and 315 people were put behind bars. A crime branch probe is on

Question leak

The incident during the Plus Two board exams led to rescheduling of physics and chemistry papers, questions of which were found leaked, for nearly 77,000 students. The government ordered a crime branch probe and six persons, including a deputy secretary of the Council of Higher Secondary Education, Sambalpur, and officials of three residential colleges, were arrested

Murder most foul

Retired army doctor Somnath Parida, 71, was arrested on June 21 on suspicion of killing his wife of 42 years, Ushashree, chopping her body into 200-odd pieces and stashing it away in two iron chests. Parida is lodged in Jharpada jail

Women unsafe

The year saw an unprecedented rise in crime against women that sparked protests across the state. On November 1, a 28-year-old siksha sahayak succumbed to severe burn injuries five days after some goons set her ablaze allegedly for refusing to withdraw a sexual harassment complaint against a sub-inspector of schools. Another major incident was the death of a 14-year-old girl from Mahakalpada, Kendrapara, who was allegedly gang-raped and set on fire. Violent protests followed. The probe has suffered a setback as the two accused were found to be juveniles

Rath controversy

The alleged attack on Italy-born Odissi dancer Ileana Citaristi by servitors atop Lord Jagannath's chariot during rath yatra led to a raging debate on allowing devotees to climb on the chariots. While servitors initially demanded the ban be applicable to foreigners alone, the temple administration, advised by the Puri Shankacharya, decided to extend it to all devotees and put an end to the controversy. However, the state government is likely to overrule the decision

Shown the door

Veteran Congress leader Niranjan Patnaik was removed as Pradesh Congress Committee president in mid-May after a section of party leaders gunned for his head, alleging involvement of his relatives in illegal mining. Almost five months later, the Congress high command expelled senior leader and MP Soumya Ranjan Patnaik for six years for anti-party activities. Soumya Ranjan has converted his NGO, Ama Odisha, into a political outfit. Similarly, expelled BJD leader Pyari Mohan Mohapatra floated a new party Odisha Jan Morcha to topple Naveen Patnaik