Odisha intelligence chief transferred over protest row

Bhubaneswar, Dec 25 : The Odisha intelligence wing chief was transferred a few hours after the protestors blocked Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik's convoy here, officials said Wednesday.

The government transferred Additional Director General of Police (Intelligence) Abhaya (he goes by one name), and posted him as director of the government press.

Sunil Roy, 1986 batch officer of the Indian Police Service (IPS), will replace him, a senior official from the Chief Minister's Office told IANS.

Although the reshuffle has been described as a routine exercise, official sources said Abhaya was shifted after the allegation that the intelligence department failed to alert the local police about the sudden protest.

About 30 activists of the Nabanirman Krushak Sanghathan (NKS), a farmers' organisation, blocked the chief minister's convoy Tuesday here, while he was on his way to the office.

The protest took place near the prohibited area of the state secretariat and police did not have any prior information. The chief minister was forced to enter the secretariat through the back gate.

Police earlier made security arrangements near Patnaik's residence after the intelligence inputs that activists were planning to stage a protest, but had no information about their plan to block the road near the secretariat, Deputy Commissioner of Police Nitinjit Singh told IANS.

Police have arrested 26 NKS activists, including their leader Akshay Kumar.

The NKS has been demanding a compensation of Rs.2,000 per month to farmers affected by a cyclone in October, and 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 hence they staged the protest.

--IANS (Posted on 25-12-2013)

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