| Protesters block railway track to demand a medical college in Mayurbhanj district. Telegraph picture |
Balasore, Feb. 24: The state government today announced to set up a medical college at Baripada in Mayurbhanj district out of its own resources, after a strike was observed in the district over the issue today.
Announcing the decision, chief minister Naveen Patnaik said: “Since Mayurbhanj is a tribal dominated district, there is an urgent need for a medical college (in the area).”
The strike was observed in protest against the Centre's decision not to include Mayurbhanj while sanctioning three medical colleges for the state.
Recently, the central government sanctioned establishment of three medical colleges and hospitals in Balasore , Balangir and Koraput districts.
The longstanding demand of Mayurbhanj, however, was ignored.
Peeved over the Centre's decision and the “apathetic attitude” of the state government, various political parties and local organisations had called for the strike in the district. The strike call was given by the BJP, Bhanja Sena, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha and the district bar association.
The strike was by and large peaceful except some stray incidents. However, normal life was paralysed in the district today because of the dawn-to-dusk strike call.
Adequate police forces were deployed to maintain law and order. “Ten platoons of police force have been deployed to thwart any untoward incident,” said additional superintendent of police A.K. Aich.
The effect of the strike was seen not only in the district headquarters town of Baripada, but also in other areas, including Karanjia, Rairangpur and Udla.
Roads wore a deserted look as there was hardly any vehicular movement. Shops and businesses establishments were closed.