26 held for blocking Odisha CM's convoy

Bhubaneswar, Dec 24 : At least 26 members of a farmers organisation were Tuesday arrested for blocking the car of Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik while he was on his way to office, police said.

Patnaik was on his way from his home to the secretariat here, when about 30 activists of the Nabanirman Krushak Sanghathan tried to block the car and stage a demonstration.

Patnaik was forced to take a detour and enter the secretariat through the back gate.

Police had earlier made security arrangements near the chief minister's residence after intelligence inputs said the activists planned to stage a protest, said Deputy Commissioner of Police Nitinjit Singh.

But police did not anticipate that the activists will block the road near the secretariat.

"It was a prohibited area and we have arrested 26 activists, including their leader Akshay Kumar," the police officer told IANS.

The organisation has been demanding compensation of Rs.2,000 per month to farmers affected by a cyclone in October. They have also been demanding Rs.500 bonus for 100 kg of paddy over the minimum support price of Rs.1,350 a quintal.

The activists said they failed to get an appointment with the chief minister over the past few weeks and they were left with no other choice but to stage the protest.

--IANS (Posted on 24-12-2013)

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