orissa

Presidential Candidate Patil To Visit Bhubaneswar

Pratibha PatilBhubaneswar: UPA’s presidential applicant Pratibha Patil will visit Bhubaneswar on July 11 to campaign.

AICC general secretary V Narayanswamy said Ms. Patil will arrive in the evening and talk with Congress MLAs and MPs and other backing parties at a meeting being planned for the purpose.


Diarrhoea claims more than 43 lives in Tribal region of Orissa

Orissa health department has reported that at least 43 persons have died of diarrhoea which broke out in epidemic form in Kashipur block of Rayagada district. Rayagada is a tribal area of the state and the medical services are very poor.

43 persons have died in Kashipur block and more than 50 have been admitted in hospitals for treatment. Chinmay Basu (Health Secretary) has conducted a survey with 12 medical teams in Kashipur block.


Cholera Takes More Than 100 Lives In Orissa

Orissa deaths due to Cholera
Kashipur, Orissa: Cholera has preyed more than hundred people in Orissa’s Koraput and Rayagada districts. More than 6000 people have got treatment thus far.


Orissa is Still Battling Water Woes

Water Problem in OrissaBhubaneswar: Cholera and diarrhea epidemic, in three tribal-dominated Orissa regions have claimed 164 lives up till now, as functionaries confirmed five more casualties in worst-hit Koraput yesterday.

R K Agarwal, Chief District Medical Officer (CDMO), said the death toll, which has climbed up to 159 on Wednesday, further came up to 164 with confirmation of five deaths in Dasmantpur block of Koraput area.


Orissa reels under floods following heavy rains

Balasore (Orissa), Sept 27 : Orissa is reeling under floods caused by heavy rains over the past few days across the state.

The situation in Balasore district continued to be grim for the fourth consecutive day on Thursday with three major rivers still in spate, leaving hundreds of villagers here marooned.

Floodwaters have entered the Balasore municipality area and two other urban local bodies of Jaleswar and Nilagiri, inundating low-lying areas and damaging thatched houses.


POSCO To Start Work On Orrisa Steel Plant By April Next Year

Posco, Ku-Taek Leethe world’snavin-patnaik fourth-biggest steel maker gave strong indications of commencing work on its planned 12-million-tonne steel plant in Orissa, by April 2007.

After meeting the Orissa Chief Minister, Mr. Naveen Patnaik, Mr. Ku-Taek Lee, Chief Executive Officer of the company, said, “We have had a very positive and productive meeting regarding land and mining issues and POSCO is committed to setting up the steel plant in India.”


Mock marriage to help real marriage in Orissa

Shampur (Orissa), Oct. 26 : Villagers of Shampur near Bhubaneshvar, the capital of Orissa, celebrate a festival when girls participate in a mock marriage ceremony with the hope that it would help them find a good match.

The festival is known as Kumar Purnima, when the unmarried girls dress themselves as brides and grooms and participate in the marriage procession. Later they go through rituals similar to a marriage. 
 
"I am happy wearing bridal dress. They dressed me with a new saree and jewellery." said Subhasmita Behera.

"They put headgear on my head and dressed me as groom. I am happy wearing this attire," said Sasmita, disguised as a bridegroom.


Mentally disabled children take vocational training in Orissa

Koraput (Orissa), Oct.26 : At least 56 children with various mental-disabilities are taking vocational training at a special centre in Orissa’s Koraput to be self-reliant and prove wrong those who doubted their potential.

At the Manas Education and Vocational Training Centre for the Mentally Challenged, operated under the aegis of Koraput district administration since 2001, training is imparted to children between 6 to 18 years of age.

Dinabandhu Daria, a student at the institute, had joined Manas in 2002. He went on to win a gold medal in cricket during Special Olympics held in 2006.


Orissa boy collects 40,000 coins and notes!

Bhubaneshwar, Nov.6 : A thirteen-year-old boy in Orissa has demonstrated how at times an ordinary looking hobby could ensure an everlasting joy in life. Pursuing his hobby to collect coins, he has amassed over 40,000 coins and currency notes!
 
Debi Prasad Mangaraj is today the proud owner of rare coins belonging to 130 countries. Some of these coins are said to be 800 years old and might not be easily found in any museum.

“I have collected 40,000 coins of 130 countries. I have some rare coins too like the Gold coin from Shivaji's era and some coins from East India Company," said Debi Mangaraj.


Cyclone alert sounded in Orissa

Bhubaneswar, Nov 14: A high alert has been issued today in the coastal areas of Orissa, as a severe cyclonic storm is set to approach the coast from the Bay of Bengal.

The meteorological department officials say the storm is just 850 kilometres away from the mainland, and is moving at a speed of 16 kilometres per hour.

Fishermen have been told not to venture out in the sea, and all boats have been directed to return back to the coast.

"It is likely to intensify further and move in a north-north western direction. For precautionary measures, we have issued a warning to the ports of Gopalpur and Paradeep, " said S C Sahoo, Director of the Bhubaneshwar Meteorological Department.


Widow manages crematorium in Orissa

Sambalpur (Orissa), Nov. 26 : Compelled to arrange two square meals for her family after husband’s death, a woman in Orissa’s Sambalpur area has opted to be a keeper in a local crematorium here.  

Married at a tender age of 15, Shanti Behera lost her husband after turning 40. His death left her with two unmarried daughters. He used to work at the Kamlibatar Rajghat (cremation ground) located along the banks of River Mahanadi in Sambalpur.

It’s been five years since Shanti (45) took up her husband’s work despite being aware that women were strictly prohibited from working in cremation ground according to local custom.


Orissa villagers clash over POSCO steel plant

POSCO Steel PlantJagatsinghpur/Bhubaneswar (Orissa), Dec 1: Orissa’s Jagatsinghpur District continues to simmer with protests over opposition to a proposed 12 billion dollar steel plant being planned by South Korean steelmaker POSCO.

The plant would be India's single largest foreign investment project, but its take-off has been delayed by months of protests by villagers.

Small clashes broke out between villagers in favour of the plant and those protesting in Jagatsinghpur District on Thursday, where authorities are planning to acquire the land for the project.


India to test Anti-Missile Defence System today

Orissa, Dec 6: All preparations have been completed in Orissa, for the test firing of country's most modern Anti-Missile Air Defence System today.

The range integration of inner wheeler Island and Integrated Test Range (ITR) Chandipur have also been concluded.

According to ITR sources, the Endo-atmospheric test will attempt to hit an incoming missile within the earth's atmosphere.

The advanced anti-missile defence system will be slightly better than the American Patriot Advanced Capability - 3 (PAC-3) in terms of range and altitude of interception.

Meanwhile, the villagers living near Chandipur have been advised to shift to temporary shelters. (ANI)


India to test Anti-Missile Defence System today

Anti-Missile Defence SystemOrissa, Dec 6: India will conduct a second test of its Interceptor missile this afternoon as preparations for the trial of its Interceptor missile development programme, which has reached its final stage.

This interceptor missile will lift off on Thursday afternoon within seconds of an incoming missile, which will be launched from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur-on-sea, about 70 km across the sea from Wheeler Island.


India test-fires Advanced Air Defence missile

Orissa, Dec 6: India today successfully test-fired it’s indigenously designed and developed Advanced Air Defence (AAD) missile.

Aimed at developing a full fledged multi-layer Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) system, the test-fire exercise was carried out from two different launch sites of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) in the Bay of Bengal.

The target missile was first test-fired from a mobile launcher at 11 am from ITR's launch complex-3 at Chandipur-on-sea, while 2 minutes 40 seconds later the interceptor was fired from Wheeler's Island, 70 nautical miles from Chandipur.

The target missile is a modified version of India's Prithvi ballistic missile.


Puri Shankaracharya calls on Gujaratis' to remove Modi

Puri (Orissa), Dec. 7: A concerted campaign must be launched across Gujarat to unseat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, said the Shankaracharya of Puri on Friday.

Appealing to all secular parties to bury their differences, Swami Adhokshanand Dev Teerth said in a statement that the BJP Government in Gujarat had hurt the cause of communal harmony and brought shame to the Hindu community.

"The tall claims of Modi that he is 'Vikas Purush' and a well-wisher of the Hindus have proved to be hollow, " he said.


Medha Patkar accuses Orissa govt for acquiring land for POSCO steel plant

Jagatsinghpur/Nuagaon/Bhubaneshwar (Orissa), Dec 12: Social activist Medha Patkar, who led a protest rally here, has accused the State Government of forcibly acquiring land for the 12 billion dollar steel plant planned by South Korean steel maker POSCO.

Patkar, on her way to Nuagaon village to meet anti-POSCO activists sitting on a hunger strike, was shown placards by the pro-POSCO activists, who wanted Patkar to go back.

However, a determined Patkar went ahead and entered Nuagaon village and met the anti-POSCO activists.


Curfew in Orissa continues for second day

Curfew in Orissa continues for second dayBhubaneswar, Dec 26: Curfew continued for the second day on Wednesday in four towns of Orissa’s Kandhamal District following the killing of a youth and the ransacking of three churches.

Violence broke out in Phulbani, Baliguda, Daringibadi and Brahmanigaon as Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) activists ransacked three churches in Baliguda area disrupted Christmas festivities on Tuesday.

VHP and Bajrang Dal activists blocked traffic in many areas and moved in groups to enforce a shutdown called in protest against the attack on anti-conversion leader Laxmanananda Saraswati.


Parts of Orissa continue to remain under curfew

Religious ViolenceBhubaneshwar, Dec 26: The situation in Orissa's Kandhamal district continues to remain tense after Hindu religious groups clashed with Christians on the day of Christmas.  

Indefinite curfew is still in force in Phulbani, Baliguda, Daringibadi and Brahmani Gaon area of the district as fresh incidents of violence has been reported from there.

Incidents of violence have been also reported from curfew-bound areas of Barakhama and Jaleshpata.

According to police, four houses have been torched outside Abraham, and six others were set on fire in Jaleshpata.


11 more Orissa churches, MP’s house burnt

Orissa ViolenceBhubaneswar, Dec 27 : Tension prevailed in Orissa’s Khandamal District after a mob torched 11 churches and burnt down the house of a Rajya Sabha MP.

Suspected saffron activists were involved in the incident, witnesses and police claimed.

The house of Rajya Sabha MP Radhakant Nayak, a Christian, was torched in the Kandhamal District.

According to Nayak, no state government force was in the area to prevent the attack.

This morning Orissa Home Secretary T K Mishra claimed the situation was reviewed and the situation was under control.


Shivraj Patil to visit riot-hit Orissa district

Union Home Minister Shivraj PatilBhubaneshwar, Jan 2: Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil will visit Orissa today to take stock of the situation arising out of recent attacks on the Christian community and its institutions.

During his day-long visit, Patil will visit Brahmanigaon and Barakhama villages, the worst-affected places in the Kandhamal district during the communal clashes.

A team of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) will visit Orissa soon to review the situation.


Shivraj Patil reviews situation in violence-hit Kandhamal, minorities demand protection

Union Home Minister Shivraj PatilKandhamal, Jan 2: Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil today reviewed the situation in the violence-hit areas of Kandhamal district in Orissa.

Patil met the Chief Minister Navin Patnaik and other top government officials at the Raj Bhavan in Bhubneswar.

Later in the day, Patil met a delegation led by the leader of the opposition J B Patnaik that submitted a memorandum demanding protection of minorities in the state. The delegation alleged that the State Government had failed from its duty of protecting the minorities.


One killed, six injured in Maoists' attack on a police outpost near Jharkhand-Orissa border

Maoists AttackBansjor (Orissa), Jan 2 (ANI): At least one policeman was killed and six others were injured after Maoists attacked a police outpost at Bansjor in the Simdega district of Jharkhand on Wednesday.

A passenger bus plying between Biramitrapur to Ranchi was also attacked by the Maoists at a railway level-crossing near the Bansjor police outpost.

Conditions of two out of the six injured are said to be critical. The injured haven been admitted at the Ispat General Hospital in Rourkela

There are conflicting reports about the number of Maoists who attacked the police outpost that is located on the Orissa-Jharkhand border.


Minority panel visits riot-hit Kandhamal, finds people still living with fear

Orissa RiotBhubaneswar, Jan 7 : A two-member team of the National Commission on Minorities today visited riot-hit areas on Kandhamal district in Orissa and found that people here were “shocked and scared.”

On Tuesday, the team comprising of eminent journalist Dillip Padgaonkar and Professor Zoya Hasan will review the post-violence rehabilitation measures taken by the State Government.

“The violent incidents were unfortunate and tragic in Kandhamal where the situation is very complex. People, particularly from minority group, are under shock and scared,” Padgaonkar told reporters.


NHRC team to visit riot-hit Orissa's Kandhamal District

Bhubaneswar, Jan 9: A team of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) is scheduled to visit riot-hit areas of Orissa’s Kandhamal District today.

The team will discuss the situation with the district administration. They will also have a meeting with the state officials regarding the relief and rehabilitation measures.

A two-member team of National Commission for Minorities visited Kandhamal district on Tuesday and had a discussion with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

Earlier, the Commission members comprising of eminent journalist Dillip Padgaonkar and Professor Zoya Hasan visited Phulbani, the district headquarters of Kandhamal and had discussions with people from different communities.


Former Orissa DGP B B Mohanty surrenders before Jaipur court

Bitti MohantyJaipur, Jan 10: Former Orissa DGP B B Mohanty, who has been accused of helping his son Bitti Mohanty to jump parole in a rape case, surrendered before a Jaipur court today.

Mohanty had earlier indicated that he would surrender before the court in two weeks time.

Bitti, who is still on run, was found guilty of raping a German researcher on March 20, 2006.

He was given parole from November 20 to December 4, reportedly on his father's application on the grounds of his mother's illness, and has been absconding since then.

Mohanty, however, has denied filed any application for his son's parole.


Astrayed Jumbo killed in Orissa village

Khurda (Orissa), Jan.31 : A wild bull elephant had to be killed earlier this week after it strayed into the Madhupur Village of Orissa's Khurda District.

The jumbo, believed to be around 50 years of age, was shot down by a village elder Purnachandra Baliar Singh at night after it came too close to his residence and damaged the paddy stored outside his house.

Seventy-eight-year old Purnachandra described the killing as an action taken in self-defense, said forest officials.

"The  tusker was entering into the Madhupur village and it got so close to the residence of one of the persons. His name is Purnachandra Baliar Singh who was sleeping  near the verandah.


POSCO steel plant survey work begins

POSCO steel plantJagatsinghpur (Orissa) Feb 7 : The much-awaited socio - economic survey began in the proposed 12 billion dollar steel plant planned by South Korean steel maker POSCO in Jagatsinghpur district on Thursday.

The villagers, agitating against the proposed mega steel plant, have agreed to allow the survey team after three days of intense negotiation.

POSCO and the government have agreed to meet most of the demands made by agitators.

The socio-economic survey will continue for at least one month.


Naxalite attack claims 13 lives in Orrisa

Naxalite attack claims 13 lives in OrrisaNayagarh, Feb 16: At least thirteen police personnel, including two women, and a civilian were killed in an attack by Naxalites in Orissa's Nayagarh District late on Friday night.

"A group of some 50 Naxals, including women cadres, with bombs and firearms raided police training school, district police station and armoury around 10:45 pm," said Superintendent of Police, Rajesh Kumar.

"Four policemen were also injured in the gunbattle that continued till around 12:15 am," he added.


Orissa on high alert after Naxal attack

Orissa on high alert after Naxal attackNayagarh, Feb 16 : The Government of Orissa today declared a red alert across the State and ordered an intensive search operation for Naxals involved in the killing of thirteen police personnel, two women, and a civilian in Nayagarh late on Friday night.

At least 600 CRPF personnel and two Indian Air Force helicopters have been deployed for the operation, State Government sources said.

The Union Home Minister Shivraj patil has condemned the Naxal attack in Orissa.


Exquisite Tussar silk on the verge of extinction in Orissa village

Barpali, (Orissa), Feb. 21 : Orissa’s silk manufacturing industry that is known world over for its fine silk and cotton fabrics is facing a major threat to its existence at Barapali Village in the State’s Baragarh District.

Baragarh district is one of the major contributors of silk in Orissa. However, the local artisans at its Barapali Village are living a helpless life due to an inadequate supply of raw materials, poor pricing and faulty government policies leading to smuggling of the yarn.

Many of the artisans here fear that the famed Sambalpuri silk saris prepared by Orissa weavers may soon fade into history.


Puri, the new yoga and ayurveda capital for foreign tourists

Puri, the new yoga and ayurveda capital for foreign touristsPuri, Feb. 22 : The temple built in honour of Lord Jagannath is one of the major attractions of the coastal town of Puri in Orissa.

But now, tourists are making their way to Puri for ancient health cure treatments provided through Yoga and Ayurveda.

Yoga and Ayurveda centers are mushrooming along Puri’s beaches, and foreign tourists suffering from ailments like arthritis, psoriasis and insomnia visit these health centres.


Monkey marriage in Orissa

Bhubaneswar, Feb. 28: Monkey marriage in OrissaAbout 3,000 people this past week converged in Orissa’s Ghanteswara Village, about 200 kilometers from Bhubaneswar, the State capital, to witness a wedding ceremony of two monkeys, said a BBC report.

The "bride" was dressed in a five-metre long sari and decked in flowers for the wedding ceremony. The guests were served a feast of rice, lentils, vegetables, fish and sweets.

The "groom", a three-year-old male monkey named Manu, was taken by procession to a temple in the company of hundreds of bemused onlookers, accompanied by loud music, dancing and fireworks.


Female temple dancers lament their plight in Orissa

Devdasi TraditionBhubaneshwar, Mar 3 : Ahead of International women's day, female temple dancers in Orissa, who are often referred to as Devadasis (servants of God), lament their plight.

The Devadasis once enjoyed the divine rights of being the better half of Lord Jagannath (Hindu God), but now the apathy of society and government speaks volumes for the pitiable life of a Devadasi.

Today, these women allege that despite devoting their entire life to 'God', they are facing severe hardships.


Female temple dancers lament their plight in Orissa

Female temple dancers lament their plight in OrissaBhubaneshwar, Mar 4: Ahead of International women's day, female temple dancers in Orissa, who are often referred to as Devadasis (servants of God), lament their plight.

The Devadasis once enjoyed the divine rights of being the better half of Lord Jagannath (Hindu God), but now the apathy of society and government speaks volumes for the pitiable life of a Devadasi.

Today, these women allege that despite devoting their entire life to 'God', they are facing severe hardships.


Russian artists dance to Indian traditional tunes in Orissa

Russian ArtistsPuri (Orissa), Mar 5: Russian artists staged here an enthralling cultural performance based on Indian epics to strengthen cultural ties with India.

The performances at the Russian cultural evening were amateur Russian artists.

"The cultural program is a part of the series of functions to be organised in both countries as the year of Russia and India during 2008 and 2009 respectively," said Deba Prasad Das, secretary, International Congress of Peace and Harmony.


Rahul Gandhi to begin Orissa tour from today

Bhubaneshwar, Mar 7: Rahul Gandhi to begin Orissa tour from todayCongress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi will begin his four-day tour 'Discover India' from Orissa's Nuapada District today.

Rahul will commence his tour from the Koraput, Bolangir, Kalahandi (KBK) region, hit by starvation deaths in the 1990s.

The tour will cover several districts of the state, and will include interactions "with youths, students, tribals, farmers and party workers", focusing on issues such as education and employment.


`Sepoy' Rahul Gandhi enjoys interaction with Orissa tribals

Rahul GandhiNuapada/Kalahandi, Mar. 7 : Congress party general secretary and Lok Sabha MP from Amethi today toured Orissa's backward Kalahandi-Bolangir-Koraput region, and spent a considerable amount of time interacting with tribals and other underprivileged sections of society.


Mass nesting of endangered Olive Ridley turtles starts in Orissa

Ganjam (Orissa), Mar 8: Conservationists, residents and wildlife officials in Orissa kept vigil on Friday as thousands of endangered Olive Ridley turtles arrived at a beach for the annual mass nesting.

The benign creatures swimming up to shore swarmed the sandy nesting grounds near the Rushikulya River in Ganjam district with the commencement of the nesting season.

"Last year, there was no mass nesting. The exact reason is not known why mass nesting did not take place last year. We are happy that mass nesting has again started this year and quite a large number of turtles have come and nested during the current breeding season," said Basudev Triparthy, a scientist with the Wildlife Institute of India.


I will give you more space in the Congress, Rahul Gandhi tells the youth

AICC general secretary Rahul GandhiGunpur (Orissa), Mar 8: Nehru-Gandhi scion and AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi today said that he would make sure that the youth gets a greater space and role in his party’s set up where there would be no discrimination on the basis of religion or caste.

He said that presently the youth was feeling ignored in almost every political party, including the Congress.


Rahul Gandhi unveils Rajiv Gandhi’s statue in Angul

Angul, Mar 9: Congress party general secretary and Lok Sabha MP from Amethi, Rahul GandhiCongress party general secretary and Lok Sabha MP from Amethi, Rahul Gandhi, who is on a four-day tour to Orissa, on Sunday unveiled a statue of his father and late Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi.

He also inaugurated a park named after his father and planted a sapling at the park in memory of his visit.

Rahul Gandhi will also visit Angul's Nalco Swelter Plant. Late Rajiv Gandhi dedicated Nalco to the nation.


Rahul Gandhi disapproves mining in Orissa hills

Rahul Gandhi disapproves mining in Orissa hillsBhubaneshwar, Mar 10 : Addressing media persons in Bhubaneshwar after culmination of four-day statewide tour on Monday, All India Congress Committee (AICC) General Secretary Rahul Gandhi said that mining in hills of Orissa would damage the environment.

He said, “I am against the proposal of mining bauxite in hills in eastern Orissa by Sterlite Industries, an Indian ancillary of Britain's Vedanta Resources. Although I am not against industralization, but we should not overlook the harmful effects of it.”


India successfully test-fires surface-to-surface Agni-I missile

India successfully test-fires surface-to-surface Agni-I missileOrissa, Mar 23: India today successfully test fired its nuclear-capable surface-to-surface Agni-I missile from the Wheelers' Island, a defence base in the Bay of Bengal on Orissa coast.

According to defence sources, Agni- I missile mounted on a mobile launcher was launched perfectly from the launch complex no. 4 of the Integrated Test Range.

The indigenously built sleek missile, having a range of 700-800 km, was test fired at 10:15 a. m., sources added.


Bhubaneshar hosts Puri's Lord Jagannath

Bhubaneshar hosts Puri's Lord JagannathBhubaneshwar (Orissa) March 24 : A large number of Lord Jagannath devotees had an opportunity to witness rituals performed at the Jagannath Temple of Puri, in Bhubaneshwar during a week-long special event organized here.

"This was for the first time that the rites and rituals that go with the Jagananath Temple are being performed outside Puri,” Chief Priest Surya Narayan Rath Sharma.

“Several other rites, which are not in practice today, are also being conducted during this spiritual convention-- Jagannath Chetana Maha Adhibesan,” he added.


Badi-making, a boon for housewives in Orissa

Keonjhar (Orissa), March 25 : OrissaBadis, the dried and preserved food items usually fried and consumed as crunchy side-dish or as additives in curries throughout India, have a high demand. Existing as a small-scale industry, it has given employment to thousands of housewives in Orissa.

There was a time when women would prepare Badis only for their homely needs or personal liking. Today, women have chosen Badi-making as source of employment to supplement their family income.

Around 850 families in Orissa's Keonjhar District alone earn their livelihood from Badi making.


Orissa Speaker in the dock for sexual harassment

Bhubaneswar, Mar 26: A woman marshal has accused Orissa Assembly Speaker Maheshwar Mohanty of sexual harassment.

“The allegation is the fallout of actions initiated against indisciplined employees and also part of a conspiracy in which important persons are involved,” Mohanty claimed.

Mohanty released a suo motu statement in response to media reports about the charges he has proposed the setting up of a House Committee to probe the matter.

Stating that it would be improper on his part to preside over the proceedings till the truth is revealed, he left the chair and asked Deputy Speaker Prahallad Dora to take over house proceedings.


Orissa Assembly Speaker resigns over sexual harassment charge

Orissa Assembly Speaker Maheswar Mohanty resigned Bhubaneswar, Mar 31 : Orissa Assembly Speaker Maheswar Mohanty resigned on Monday after a criminal case was registered against him on charges of sexually harassing Lady Marshal Gayatri Panda.

The criminal case against Mohanty was registered on Saturday after Panda lodged a police complaint.

Panda had claimed that she had faced Mohanty made sexual advances on her who even indulged in vulgar gestures.

Mohanty vehemently denied the allegations.


Orissa Government to declare new agriculture policy soon

Orissa Government to declare new agriculture policy soonBerhampur (Orissa): Apr 7: The Orissa Government will soon declare a new agriculture policy to make farming a profitable activity, official sources said here on Monday.

“The draft for the new policy has already been prepared. It will be placed before the state cabinet for approval,” said Arabinda Padhi, Director of Agriculture and Food Production.


AIDS patients to get travel expenses to visit ART centres

OrissaBhubaneshwar, Apr 7 : The Orissa Government has announced plans to provide traveling expenses to AIDS patients to visit the Anti-Retroviral Treatment (ART) centers from their homes.

Project Director, Orissa State Aids Control Society, Parameswar Swain on Monday said:

"The scheme will be effective from April 1. The Government has made a budgetary allocation for this purpose."

Swain said full concession would be given on the fare of all public transport services, including buses and trains.


Orissa tribals atone for sins while living

Puri, Apr 18: Tribals in Puri have observed a unique atonement ritual, wherein, they observe a bizarre tradition of piercing iron hooks in their bodies while paying obeisance to please their deity.

According to tradition, tribals lacerate themselves with hooks and nails so that they can atone for their sins in this lifetime itself.

Fearlessly, they pierce iron nails deep into the skin and then worship the Goddess.

What's more, as if piercing nails is not a punishment in itself, they tie a rope to the nail and suspend themselves from a bamboo tree and without any help, oscillate in the air much to the horror as well as amazement of onlookers.


Heat wave grips Orissa

Heat wave grips OrissaBhubaneshwar, Apr 21: The heat wave is on in Orissa, with the maximum temperature hovering around the 42° Celsius mark in most parts of the State. The heat wave has so far claimed 10 lives in the state.

In Bhubaneswar, people are finding it hard to venture out of their homes, while the poor are attempting to find respite under the shade of a trees.

Others were found to be heading towards roadside stalls to savour cool ice candies and watermelons. Watermelons are particularly in great demand.


Orissa heat wave death toll rises to 22

OrissaBhubaneshwar, Apr 22: At least 22 people have died due to the intense heat wave in Orissa.

The State Government has decided to pay an ex-gratia of Rs 10,000 each from the Chief Minister's Relief Fund to the next of the kin of those who have died.

Schools have been closed from Tuesday because of the heat wave.

The maximum temperature rose above 42 degree Celsius mark in most parts of the state.


It’s cool at Nandankanan Zoo in Orissa

Orrisa MapNandankanan Zoological Park (Orissa), April 25 Authorities at the famous Nandakanan Zoological Park in Orissa are taking various measures to prevent inmates from suffering from scorching heat that has set in advance this summer.

Desert coolers have been installed outside the enclosures of felines, bears and other caged inmates, sprinklers are being used to give showers to all animals and aviaries are covered with palm reeds and leaves to shield the birds from heat.

Sufficient water supply, along with other facilities and proper management has made a big difference comparing to the earlier years.


MCL To Set Up Hospital, Model Rehabilitation Centre For Tribals In Talcher

The Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL) has made announcement about the setting up of a medical college and hospital at the industrial town of Talcher.

The decision has been taken at a meeting between Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Coal India Limited (CIL) Chairman Parthasarathi Bhattacharya.

Mr. Patnaik, during the conference, placed a proposal before Mr. Bhattacharya to upgrade the existing 100 bed MCL hospital at Talcher to a 400-bedded hospital, and also to set up a full-fledged Medical College there.

The sources said that Mr. Bhattacharya promptly agreed to the plan.

He also said that MCL will set up a model rehabilitation centre for the tribals who had been displaced due to mining of coal.


Orissa to use CRPF to prevent children from joining Maoists

Bhubaneswar, Apr 29 : Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said on Tuesday that the State Government would take the help of paramilitary forces like the CRPF to prevent children from joining Maoists in Orissa.

The decision came after reports surfaced that the Maoists were targeting poor children, especially school dropouts to expand their base in the southern districts of Malkangiri and Gajpati.

"We will initiate action through the paramilitary forces and the local police to stop children from joining the Maoists,” Patnaik said.


Lakshya test flown successfully at Chandipur

Lakshya test flown successfully at ChandipurChandipur (Orissa), Apr 30 : India's indigenously developed micro-light and pilotless target aircraft (PTA) Lakshya, was successfully test flown on Wednesday at Chandipur, about 15 km from Orissa from a defence base.

"Lakshya fitted with an advanced digitally controlled engine was test flown at about 12 noon successfully and it was carried out to check the validity of its engine and duration enhancement," integrated test range (ITR) Director A. Checker said.

Usually, the flight duration of the six feet long micro light aircraft is 30 to 35 minutes.


An elephant and her calf electrocuted in Orissa

ElephantsBadrama Ghati/Bhubaneswar, May 3: A mother elephant with its calf, electrocuted by a low dangling high-tension electric cable, died on the spot at Badrama Ghati range along Sambalpur-Deogarh districts border in Orissa.

The electric wire was found hanging just six feet above the ground. It is feared that the two elephants were moving around the area when the electric wire caught the mother elephant and subsequently trapped the calf holding on to its mother.

The wire caught the trunk of the mother elephant and it was burnt and cut due to the intensity of the shock.

Wildlife officials said they would sue the utility for negligence.


UPA will never ignore voice of the poor and deprived: Rahul Gandhi

Rahul GandhiAngul (Orissa), May 13 : The UPA Government will never ignore the voice of poor while moving on the path towards growth and development. The voice of poor will always be heard, said Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday.

Addressing employees of NALCO in the town of Angul during a one-day trip to Orissa, Gandhi said he was happy to hear that the public sector undertaking had been granted Navratna status.

The granting of Navratna status allows a government owned entity to take decisions on investments up to Rs. 1, 000 crore, or 15 per cent of its net worth, without seeking the government’s approval.


Water scarcity forces Oriya tribals to dig riverbeds

Kalahandi (Orissa), May 14 : Intense heat wave conditions and declining water levels are spelling a hard time for Oriya tribals.

The state's Kalahandi district is reeling from water scarcity, so much so that tribals have been digging up the riverbed to access water to meet their daily requirements.

Residents call this process of digging up a hole in the dry riverbed as 'Chahala'. It has become common in the district that faces acute water shortage during the summer every year.

A small river passes through the region surrounded by hills and forests. Residents say they are wholly dependent on it to fulfill their water requirements, and during the summers, when the river dries up, they are left with no other option but to dig up the riverbed.


2 Maoists killed in an encounter in Orissa

Orrisa MapMalkangiri, May 17 : Police killed two suspected Maoists in Malkangiri district of Orissa today.

The district Superintendent of Police (SP) Satish Gajvia, said that the police party spotted a hide-out during patrolling in Tonkelguda forest, adjoining Andhra Pradesh.

The Maoists opened fire on the police .In retaliation, the police gunned down two Maoists while others managed to escape. The police has sent the bodies for post mortem.(ANI)


Antique Buddha idol seized, four arrested in Orissa

Kharveknagar (Orissa), May 20 : Police in Orissa have arrested four people and recovered rare antiques, including a metal idol of Buddha, an ancient telescope, precious stones, coins and musk.

Acting on a tip off, police conducted raids and recovered the items though they have not been able to ascertain the exact value of the materials.

"We conducted raids and recovered antique statues of Buddha and a telescope believed to be of a very ancient period. Experts are trying to find out the exact period to which they belong. We have also recovered musk and precious stones from them," said Himansu Lal, Deputy Commissioner of Police.


Orissa’s Jagannath Temple secured in wake of Jaipur terror attack

Orissa’s Jagannath Temple secured in wake of Jaipur terror attackPuri , May 20 (ANI): Security has been tightened in and around the world famous Lord Jagannath Temple in Puri, Orissa in the wake of the terror attack in Jaipur, Rajathan, which claimed over 60 lives and maimed over 200.

The decision to beef up security has been taken in advance of the annual Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra, which is celebrated in June-July, and has been going on for the last ten centuries.


Aditya Birla Group To Invest Rs 80,000 Cr In Orissa By Next Few Years

Aditya Birla Group has decided to invest around Rs 75,000-80,000 crore in Mr. Kumar Mangalam Birla, chairman, Aditya Birla Group (ABG) Orissa in different segments over the next few years.

Kumar Mangalam Birla, chairman, Aditya Birla Group (ABG) stated that the proposed investment will be made in sectors including retail business, cement, alumina and telecommunications.

“We are committed to larger investments in Orissa. It is a very important investment destination for us,” Mr. Mangalam said.


Surface-to-surface Prithvi missile test fired successfully

Chandipur (Orissa), May 23 : India on Friday successfully test fired the indigenous surface-to-surface 'Prithvi' missile, from the integrated test range (ITR) here, 15 km from Balasore.

The Prithvi missile was test-fired, as part of a user's trial by the Indian Army and was successful, defence sources confirmed.

"Mounted on a mobile tatra transporter-erector launcher, the sophisticated missile took off vertically at about 10:30 a. m. and plunged into the pre-designated splash-down point in the Bay of Bengal," the sources added.

The Prithvi has a range of 150 to 250 km, which can carry an explosives payload of 1000 kg.


Jobless mine workers demand reopening of Orissa’s dolomite and limestone mines

OrissaBhubaneshwar, May 23 : A mine workers’ group ‘Birsa Sangram Samiti’ staged a demonstration today in Orissa’s Sundergarh District demanding the reopening of the closed dolomite and limestone mines that had left them jobless.

The mines set up in the year 1960 provided jobs to locals, but made them jobless after 1990.


Hindustan Dorr pockets order worth Rs 250 crore

Hindustan Dorr pockets order worth Rs 250 croreHindustan Dorr Oliver Limited has bagged an order worth Rs 250 crore from Vedanta Aluminium Ltd for the expansion of its 3 million metric tonnes per annum (MMTPA) alumina refinery project at Lanjigarh in Orissa.

The scope of work involves design, engineering, procurement, manufacture, supply, civil works, construction, testing, commissioning and performance guarantee tests of Settler and Washer Package along with associated facilities of the plant.

FLSMIDTH Dorr-Oliver Eimco GmbH, Germany is the Company's Technology partner for the project.


RPG Group Plans Expansion; To Invest Rs 90 Bln By 2010

As part of its growth plan, RPG group is all set to invest around Rs 90 billion RPG Group Plans Expansionin the power, tyre and carbon black industries by the next two years (2010).
  
The company’s chairman Mr. Rama Prasad Goenka, who is at his rubber estate at the Harrisons Malayalam limited at nearby Mooply to inaugurate the accelerated replanting and factory modernisation programme here, stated that Rs 6,000 crore would be invested in the Calcutta Electric Supply Company by 2020 in the states including Orissa, West Bengal and Jharkand, whereas the company has set aside Rs 20 billion in the Ceat Tyres and Rs 10 billion in the Philips Carbon Black.


Artisans make enchanting artefacts from waste paper in Puri

Puri, May 27 : Artisans of Puri in Orissa have mastered the art of turning waste into wealth as is evident from the papers that they transform into enchanting and eye catching artefacts.

Deviating from the usual stone sculpting and woodcarving, these artisans are making use of waste paper and moulding it into beautiful novelties and utility items.

What had started out as a lone venture by Fakir Samantkarma, has now been turned into a small-scale industry employing about 73 persons.

The artisans make craft toys, handicrafts, pen stands, photo frames and trays. The paper is first converted into pulp by soaking it in water. Tamarind gum is then added to it. A paste is formed by adding chalk to it.


Orissa Launches Childcare Scheme ‘Yashoda’

New born children in government hospital at Sambalpur, Orissa will now Orissa Launches Yashoda For Child Carefind Yashoda to take care of them.

While informing the chief district medical officer (CDMO) of Sambalpur, Dr. PK Nayak said, “This is totally a new concept all over the country started for the first time at Sambalpur.”


Orissa revives traditional art of making lac toys

Balasore (Orissa), May 29 : As plastic toys continue to flood the market, a group of 60 women in Orissa’s Balasore District are working hard to preserve the traditional art of making lac toys.

These women have taken up the task for the past three years and have been able to make a difference.

Toys sold by them peak during the ‘Savitri Vrata’ festival, which is celebrated by married women for the long life of their husbands.

It is believed that the gifting lac toys to newly weds bring peace and prosperity in their lives. Idols of brides and bridegrooms made of lac are in great demand during the festival.


12 killed, 35 injured in separate accidents in Orissa

OrissaBhubaneswar, May 29 : At least 12 people were killed and about 35 others injured, ten of them critically, in separate road accidents in Orissa.

A mini bus overturned near Phulbani, the District headquarters of Kandhamal District, this morning, killing four persons and injuring 31, nine of them critically.

The overcrowded bus was travelling from Khajuripada to Phulbani when the mishap took place. The injured have been admitted to a hospital at Phulbani.


Infosys To Invest Rs 500 Crore In Orissa

IT major Infosys announced that it would invest Rs 500 crore in Orissa for Infosysestablishing an SEZ in IT and ITeS segments and taking care of children’s mid-day-meal system and healthcare services.

Mr. T V Mohandas Pai, Director HR, ER and administration and member of board of Infosys, said, “We have proposed to set up an IT SEZ in Bhubaneswar. The project will require 50 acres of land.”

The company funding mid-day meal for 10,000 school children in Nayagarh region, also decided to expand the program to Gajapati and Kandhamal regions.

Besides, 30,000 children in Puri district were also getting midday meal in Puri district.


Floods in Orissa, Bengal, Uttar Pradesh

Bhubaneswar / Kolkata /Uttar Pradesh/ Guwahati/, June 19 : The flood situation in Orissa, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand has affected the normal life while Assam showed some signs of improvement with cessation of rain.

In Orissa, over ten lakh people have been affected by the current flood in Balesore, Bhadrak and Mayurbhanj district. Twenty seven low-laying coastal gram panchayats of Bhadrak district are still marooned.

In West Bengal the flood situation in Midnapore district turned worse with fresh areas inundated by the Subarnarekha River, leaving nearly three lakh people marooned.


Floods maroon people in Balasore district of Orissa

OrissaChhatarpur (Madhya Pradesh)/Balosore (Orissa), June 20 : People marooned in flash floods in Balasore in Orissa have alleged tardy pace in relief operations.

About one million people in 887 villages have been affected by flash floods and are scattered between camps, highways and makeshift shelters on higher ground.

The incessant rains have swollen the Subarnarekha, Budhabalanga and Baitarni rivers causing havoc in the district and adjoining areas.

Officials said about four thousand people have been evacuated from marooned villages of worst affected Balasore district.


Relief work gains momentum in flood-hit Balasore

Balasore (Orissa), June 21 : Authorities in flood-hit Balasore district of Orissa have stepped up relief operations in the affected areas.

The situation is grim even days after the flash floods hit the region, hundreds of thousands of people are left marooned and many are homeless.

The State Government is using Air Force helicopters to drop food packets in the affected areas, besides deploying the army for rescue work.

Officials said that around 205 boats have been engaged for relief operations apart from one helicopter that is being used for air dropping food packages.


Orissa Government steps up search operation in Malkangiri district

Bhubaneshwar, July 2: The search operation to trace out 35 missing commandos, who were feared drowned after the Maoists capsized their boat, is being stepped up with mobilisation of additional forces to Orissa’s Malkangiri District today.

Around one thousand armed police from Orissa and Andhra Pradesh and CRPF are engaged in the search operations in Chitrakonda forest adjoining Andhra Pradesh.

One more naval divers team has arrived from Vishakhapatanam. Apart from two helicopters, a sonar machine is being used in the search operation.

Meanwhile, the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik urged the Union Home Ministry to send six additional companies of CRPF to strengthen security and combing operation.


Sculpted Lord Jagannath reappears on Puri beach

Puri (Orissa), July 3 : Noted Sand artist Sudarshan Patnaik has sculpted a statue of Lord Jagannath on the Puri beach here ahead of the chariot festival better known as Rath Yatra that starts Friday (July 4).

To carve this sand sculpture, Sudarshan has used only clean and fine-grained sand mixed with water.

Sudarhsan and his fellow student-artists have carved a fascinating statue of the chariot and an image of lord Jagannath surrounded by devotees. He also used coloured sand to make the statue attractive.

It took Sudarshan Patnaik and his tem about five hours and 10 tonnes of sand to create the sculpture.


Jagannath rath yatra begins in Puri amidst tight security

Jagannath FestivalPuri (Orissa), July 4: The annual rath yatra of Lord Jagannath began here today morning amidst tight security.

During the procession, the idols of Lord Jagannatha, Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra, the deities of the Sri Mandira, are taken out.

Thousands of devotees pull the chariots with the idols from the Jagannath Temple to the Gundicha Temple. For seven days, the deities stay at the Gundicha Temple and then return.

For smooth conduct of the festival, both State and district administration have taken all necessary steps.


Rath Yatra underway in Puri

Rath YatraPuri (Orissa), July 12 : The Bahuda Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath is under way here today in the presence of thousands of devotees.

Chariot pulling, which is the centre of attraction in this festival, is likely to start after 3 P. M.

The three presiding deities Lord Jagannath, Devi Subhadra and elder brother Shri Bala Bhadra are returning to their original abode after the conclusion of nine days of ritualistic stay in Sri Gundicha temple.

Devotees from all over the country have gathered in Puri to witness the three deities rolling in their chariots in a grand procession. (ANI)


Twenty policemen killed in Maoist attack in eastern India

Orrisa MapNew Delhi  - At least 20 policemen were killed when a police vehicle was blown up by suspected Maoist rebels in India's eastern state of Orissa on Wednesday, officials said.

According to a police spokesman, a 30-member team from the Special Operation Group (SOG) was surveying an area in the southern Malkangiri district for landmines when the explosion took place.

"Twenty personnel were killed as a police jeep was ripped apart in an explosion," Malkangiri Superintendent of Police GSK Das said in a telephone interview. The district lies 500 kilometres south-west of the state capital Bhubaneshwar.


Hunt on for Maoists after yesterday's attack on Orissa police party

Malkangiri (Orissa), July 17: A massive combing operation has been launched following yesterday''s Maoists attack in which at least 24 policemen were killed when a landmine exploded under a security vehicle in Orissa's Malkangiri District.

The search operation to nab the Maoists is being jointly launched by Special operation group units and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in Mottu police station area.

Additional police forces are being mobilised to strengthen the combing operation in the area.

In a related development, Union Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta has said that the Central Government has decided to set up six jungle warfare and counter-insurgency schools to train security personnel to deal with the Maoists.


McNally Bharat Engineering secures order worth Rs 246 crore

Kolkata-headquartered McNally Bharat Engineering has secured order McNally Bharat Engineering secures order worth Rs 246 crore worth Rs 246 crore from Vedanta Alumina for commissioning three plants in Orissa.  
 
The scope of the order include design, detailed engineering, manufacturing and supply of equipment, erection and commissioning of three 35 tonnes per hour each of plant at Jharsuguda in Orissa.  
 
The company does not see a significant impact on margins due to price escalation clauses for most projects, a top official stated.


Fissures on ground scare villagers in Balasore

Balasore, July 25 : Panic has gripped Orissa''s Balasore District after fissures appeared on the ground leading to rumours of the possibility of an earthquake.

Residents of the area are now living in fear after they had glimpse of about a kilometer deep cracks on the ground.

Cracks have appeared on the walls of a number of houses, forcing people to evacuate them. The cracks have completely damaged a house while three other houses have developed cracks.

Authorities say that the geological department will soon investigate the seismic activity.


JSW Steel To Set Up Port In Orissa At Rs 2000 Cr Investment

Sajjan Jindal-controlled the JSW Steel group plans to invest Rs 2000 crore JSW Steel To Set Up Port In Orissa At Rs 2000 Cr Investmentin four years to setup a deep sea port in the Bhadrak district of Orissa, which is located right outside the border of West Bengal.  

The proposed port in Orissa, which would handle coal and finished steel products, have an initial capacity of 25-30 million tones. The company would take 3-4 years to execute the project.  

The port would also support import of raw materials and export of finished goods of the 10 million steel plants in West Bengal and Jharkhand.


UK’s Vedanta comes under `tribal'' fire over Orissa mining project

London, Aug. 1 : Representatives of Orissa’s remote Dongria Kondh tribe have been successful in denouncing a mining project undertaken by Britain’s Vedanta Group during the latter’s annual general body meeting here.

According to The Independent, Vedanta founder and chairman Anil Agarwal was cornered when he was asked to explain in detail his group’s commitment to "sustainable development" after Dongria Kondh tribals presented testimony on how the company was destroying the environment even before the mining has started.

Though Vedanta Resources told shareholders that the company had earned record revenue for a sixth successive year (revenues of 8.2 billion dollars, 26 per cent up on


SC Clears POSCO's Orissa Steel Plant

The Supreme Court has finally cleared South Korean steel major Posco's plans to set SC Clears POSCO's Orissa Steel Plant   up a Rs 51,000 crore mega steel plant and captive minor port in Paradeep, Orissa.

A special environmental bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan allowed Posco India Pvt Ltd, a subsidiary of Korea-based Posco, to go ahead with the project.

With this order, the apex court has also cleared forest diversion proposal for the plant site which require 1253.225 hectares of forest land.


Orissa’s primitive tribes not to allow Vedanta group mining despite SC order

Orissa’s primitive tribes not to allow Vedanta group mining despite SC orderBhubaneshwar, Aug 9 : The Dongria and Jharnia Kondh tribes of Kalahandi today announced to continue their protest against the London based Vedanta Group despite Supreme Court’s green signal to the Company to go ahead with its project worth 800 million dollars to mine bauxite from the Niyamgiri Hills.


ArcelorMittal Initiates Land Acquisition Process In Orissa

After getting a green signal from the people of 2 villages of Keonjhar district, ArcelorMittal Initiates Land Acquisition Process In OrissaWorld’s largest integrated metals and mining company ArcelorMittal has started the process of land acquisition for its 12 million tonnes per annum steel plant in Orissa.

The company now hopes to take the possession of the required land by the end of this year.


Diarrhoea outbreak in Orissa

Koraput (Orissa), Aug 19 : Outbreak of diarrhoea has spread panic among the villagers in Orissa''s Koraput District.

The outbreak is threatening the lives of the people living in a remote area of the state. The main reason behind the spread of the disease is the lack of clean drinking water and basic sanitation facilities in the area.

Villagers fear that people might fall prey to the outbreak like last year when the disease claimed hundreds of lives during the rainy season.

According to government reports, two persons have reportedly died at Totaguda village of Nandpur block of Koraput District so far.


Orissa Sponge Iron To Allot 4 Million Warrants To TRFI; Stock Up 5%

Bhubaneswar-based Orissa Sponge Iron & Steel Ltd has informed that its board of Orissa Sponge Iron To Allot 4 Million Warrants To TRFI; Stock Up 5%directors has decided to issue 4 million equity share warrants convertible into same number of equity share of Rs 10/- to TRFI Investment Pvt. Ltd. a promoter group Company at a price calculated as per SEBI Guidelines.


2,900 government doctors in Orissa to resign on Aug 29

Naveen PatnaikBhubaneswar, Aug 22 : The delay in implementation of measures announced by Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik might lead to mass resignation by Government doctors on August 27.

Over 2900 doctors working in government hospitals in Orissa have threatened to tender mass resignation on August 27.

The Orissa Medical Service Association (OMSA) president Madhusudan Mishra said, "Nearly 2900 doctors working in government hospitals will resign from their posts to protest against the non-implementation of announcements made by the Chief Minister."


Maharashtra, Orissa invite TATA to set up ''Nano'' plant in their state

Maharashtra, Orissa invite TATA to set up ''Nano'' plant in their stateMumbai/Bhubaneswar, August 23 : Maharashtra and Orissa on Saturday invited Tata motors to set up its plant in their State for ''Nano'' project that has been in controversy ever since its initiation in Singur (West Bengal), owing to protests over land granted to the motor makers.

Citing the antecedents of the Tatas, Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh said that the motor makers are always welcome to avail the facilities of the State.


Suspected Maoists kill five VHP functionaries in Orissa

Bhubaneswar, Aug 24 : In Orissa, five Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) functionaries, including Swami Laxmananda Saraswati, a prominent leader in communally-sensitive Kandhmal District, were killed by unidentified assailants, suspected to be Maoists, late last night when Janmashtami celebrations were on.

Nearly 30 armed people entered the Laxamanananda Ashram in Jalespata under Tumudibandh block and fired indiscriminately, leaving Laxmanananda Saraswati and four others dead.

Immediately after the firing the armed group fled away, official sources said.

Arupananda, Chinmayananda and Mata Bhaktimayee and an unidentified person were the four others dead in the attack.


Security tightened in Orissa in the wake of VHP shutdown call

Bhubaneswar, Aug 25: A high-alert has been sounded across Orissa and additional security forces have been deployed in view of the Vishawa Hindu Parishad (VHP)’s 12-hour dawn-to-dusk state-wide shutdown today against the killing of a senior VHP functionary on Saturday night.

Around 20 platoons of the state police and four companies of CRPF have been deployed following tense situation in the tribal dominated Kandhmal district where the VHP leader Swami Laxmananda Saraswati and his four followers were killed by unidentified assailants.

Fearing communal violence, the district administration has imposed curfew in parts of the district, and announced closure of all schools, colleges and other academic institutions.


Govt. doctors in Orissa threaten to move in for mass resignation campaign

The implementation of various measures which were announced by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik six months ago, have not been implemented till now and thus has agitated doctors working in public hospitals in Orissa. That is why; approximately 3000 doctors have decided to protest against the delay of the implementation of rules by following a mass resignation on August 27.


VHP shutdown affects normal life in Orissa

VHP shutdown affects normal life in OrissaBhubaneswar, Aug 25 : The 12-hour shutdown called by Vishwa Hindu Parishad affected normal life in Orissa, but, remained by and large peaceful.

Enforcing the statewide shutdown in protest against the killing of VHP leader Swami Lakshmanananda and four of his disciples, activists of the VHP, the Bajrang Dal and other Hindu outfits took to the streets blocking all national and state highways in almost all parts of the state since morning bringing vehicular traffic to a halt.


Leader's death: VHP calls for Orissa bandh

The fire of protest was ignited by the killing of VHP leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati and four of his disciples in an ashram at Jalespeta in Kandhmal district. The fire was visible when number of incidents of attacks on religious places took place across Orissa on Sunday.

On Monday, curfew was ordered by the administration in parts of Kandhmal district, as a dawn-to-dusk Orissa bandh was started by Sangh Parivar. CM Naveen Patnaik appealed to all the communities to maintain peace. Further suspension was passed against Kandhmal SP announcement of judicial action was made for the Saturday’s killings


Curfew, flag march in Orissa district after violence over VHP leader's murder

OrissaBhunaneswar, Aug 26: After imposing curfew in Orissa''s volatile Kandhamal district, the police and the paramilitary forces held flag marches in troubled towns on Tuesday following violent protests during Monday’s state-wide shutdown call by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) to protest against the killing of its leader Swami Lakshmanananda Saraswati and four others.


Five killed, curfew imposed after churches torched in India

OrissaNew Delhi  - Curfew was clamped in Kandhamal district of India's eastern state of Orissa on Tuesday as police put the death toll at five in violence by Hindu right-wing activists who vandalized and set fire to Christian churches and church property in the area.

Activists of the right-wing Vishwa Hindu Parishad and its affiliate Bajrang Dal attacked churches, torched vehicles and stopped rail and road traffic across the state Monday. They called the strike to protest the weekend killing of their leader in a campaign against religious conversion.


Shoot-at-sight orders in Kandhmal

Bhubaneswar, Aug 27: Shoot-at-sight orders have been issued in eight places in Kandhmal district of Orissa in the wake of Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s (VHP) protest against the killing of its leader Swami Lakshmanananda Saraswati.

Curfew continues in Kandhmal.

The death toll from the violence in the state has risen to nine and the situation is threatening to spiral out of control with mobs seeking revenge for the killings of the VHP leader and four of his disciples.

Thousands of people in communally-sensitive Kandhmal district moved into forests for safety.

At least four people were killed in a clash between members of Hindu and Christian communities at Barakhama village in Kandhmal on Tuesday.


Death toll in religious riots in India rises to 11

OrissaNew Delhi - Police found three more bodies Wednesday of people killed in clashes between Hindus and Christians in India's eastern Orissa state, bringing the death toll to 11, news reports said.


Death toll in religious riots in India rises to 11

OrissaNew Delhi  - Police found three more bodies Wednesday of people killed in clashes between Hindus and Christians in India's eastern state of Orissa, bringing the death toll to 11, news reports said.

A few fresh incidents of rioting and arson led authorities to impose shoot-on-sight orders in parts of the curfew-bound Khandamal district, where the death of a Hindu leader has sparked violence since Monday, the PTI and IANS news agencies reported.


Violence continues in Kandhamal in Orissa

OrissaBhubaneswar, Aug 28 : Violence continued unabated on Thursday in Kandhamal District of Orissa for the fifth day inspite of the shoot-at-sight order imposed in eight blocks of the communally sensitive district.

The latest outbreak of violence was reported from remote places of Tikabali and G Udaygiri where the police have failed to reach.

Earlier, incidents were reported from Sundergarh, Rayagada, Gajapati and Bolangir districts.

In a backlash to the killing of VHP leader Laxmanananda Saraswati and four others on Saturday night, the violence has claimed ten lives in Orissa so far.


Union Govt favours CBI probe of Orissa violence

Orissa-VHPNew Delhi, Aug 29 : The Central Government on Friday favoured a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the violent incidents that claimed at least ten lives in the communally sensitive Khandhmal District of Orissa following the killing of a VHP leader and four others.

Expressing serious concern over the communal violence in Orissa, Science and Technology Minister Kapil Sibal said: "We would have liked ideally that this matter be handed over to the CBI because those responsible should get justice immediately as judicial probe takes longer time,"


50,000 Christian institutions in India shut down to protest attacks

50,000 Christian institutions in India shut down to protest attacksNew Delhi - Nearly 50,000 schools, colleges and educational institutions run by Christian organizations and individuals across India shut down Friday to protest continuing violence against Christians in the eastern state of Orissa.

"According to our estimate, 50,000 schools and colleges and other educational institutions were closed today," said Sam Paul, spokesman of the All India Christian Council.


Christian in Tripura protest Orissa violence

Christian in Tripura protest Orissa violenceAgartala, Aug. 29 : Christian in Tripura brought out a silent rally Friday to protest the continued violence against the community in Orissa, where at least 11 people have died in sectarian violence.

All Christian schools and institutions across the state remain closed.

The United Christian Forum of Tripura brought out the rally from RMS Choumhuni and went to the Raj Bhavan to place a deputation to the Governor.

Hundred of protestors including women and young children wearing black badges walked through the streets of Agartala in silent.


Violence-hit Orissa returning to normalcy, says Naveen Patnaik

Orissa Chief Minister Naveen PatnaikBhubaneshwar/Bangalore, Aug 30: Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has claimed that the situation is improving in Orissa's Kandhamal District, which was gripped by religious violence following the killing of VHP leader Laxamananda Saraswati.

Patnaik, who will visit the district today, said: "The situation in Kandhamal district is returning to normal."

The visit comes as the Central Government has indicated that it favours a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the violence that claimed at least ten lives.


Orissa CM offers tribute to VHP leader Laxamananda Saraswati

Jalsapeta (Orissa), Sep 1: Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has offered floral tribute to VHP leader Laxamananda Saraswati, who was killed by a mob recently.

Patnaik visited a religious home established by Swami Lakshmananda at Jalsapeta village in Kandhamal district on Sunday, where he and four others were killed by a group of 30 heavily armed men.

Patnaik said the Central Government has assured more forces to quell communal clashes.

"I spoke to the Union Home Minister and asked him to send ten companies of force. I have been informed that the situation in Jeypore of Koraput district is now under control. Forces have been sent there and more forces will be sent to Jeypore town," he said.


Orissa limps back to normalcy after communal violence

Bhubaneswar, Sep 1 : Orissa is limping back to normalcy as all academic institutions are opened on Monday in the Phulbani sub-division of the state’s communally sensitive Kandhamal District.

In the Baliguda sub-division, schools and colleges are expected to start after two to three days.

According to official sources, the deployment of eleven companies of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), three companies of the Rapid Action Force (RAF) and 26 platoons of the State Armed Police would continue to infuse confidence among the public. Two helicopters are also being sent by the Centre to assist in force mobilisation and relief operations.


PM assures assistance to victims of Orissa violence

Manmohan SinghNew Delhi, Sep 1 : Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh today assured a delegation led by former Kerala Chief Minister Oomen Chandy that the Central government has taken very serious notice of the happenings in Orissa.

Dr. Singh said that he has personally spoken to the Orissa’s Chief Minister Navin Patnaik to ensure communal harmony and bring to book the culprits behind the violent incidents.

The Prime Minister mentioned that the Orissa Chief Minister has assured firm action in the matter.


Orissa Govt admits 558 houses, 17 places of worship torched during riots

Orissa-VHPBhubaneswar, Sep 1 : The Orissa Government today said that over 558 houses and 17 places of worship have been burnt in communal riots following the murder of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati''s on August 23.

The government further claimed that the situation in Kandhamal and elsewhere in Orissa was under control.

After a review meeting chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Chief Secretary Ajit Kumar Tripathy said, “While 543 houses were burnt in the worst hit Kandhamal district,
15 houses had been set ablaze in Gajapati district.”


Orissa’s Archbishop moves SC for CBI probe into violence

Orissa’s Archbishop moves SC for CBI probe into violenceNew Delhi, Sept 2 : The Archbishop of Cuttack today filed a petition before the Supreme Court seeking a CBI probe into violence against the Christians in Orissa.

The petition also sought the involvement of the National Human Rights Commissions (NHRC) to conduct a probe and find out as to which organisation was behind the Kandhamal violence.

Senior Advocate Collin Gonsalves informed about the filing of the petition to a Bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan, which agreed to hear the matter later in the day.


Shivraj Patil to visit Orissa on Wednesday

OrissaNew Delhi, Sep 2 : Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil will be visiting Orissa on Wednesday for an on the spot assessment of the situation in the violence-hit areas of the State.

He will also discuss the situation with the representatives of the State government in Bhubaneswar. Minister of State for Home Sriprakash Jaiswal also visited the State recently.

The Union Home Secretary and other senior officers of the Home Ministry have been in close touch with the Chief Secretary, Director General of Police and other senior officers of the State.


Orissa CM regrets riots after VHP leader’s killing

Naveen PatnaikBhubaneswar, Sep 2 : Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday termed the communal riots following the killing of Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati, as an unfortunate incident.

Stating that the people of the state had a long record of being peaceful, secular and tolerant to all faiths, Patnaik told reporters the riots were “an unfortunate occurrence during the eight-and-a-half years of my government.”


Shivraj Patil to visit Orissa today

Shivraj Patil to visit Orissa todayBhubaneswar, Sep 3: Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil will arrive in Orissa today for an on the spot assessment of the situation in the violence-hit areas of the State.

During his visit, Patil will discuss the situation with the representatives of the State government in Bhubaneswar. Minister of State for Home Sriprakash Jaiswal also visited the State recently.

The Union Home Secretary and other senior officers of the Home Ministry have been in close touch with the Chief Secretary, Director General of Police and other senior officers of the State.


Shivraj Patil reviews situation in Kandhamal

Shivraj PatilBhubaneshwar, Sep 3 : Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil today reviewed the situation in Kandhamal at a meeting held at Raj Bhavan in Bhubaneswar on Wednesday with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, senior officials and leaders of political parties.

Patil also toured some of the worst-affected areas and relief centres in Kandhamal, official sources said.

Under attack for prohibiting outsiders from visiting Kandhamal, the state government on Wednesday lifted restrictions on entry into the district. Senior BJP leaders are likely to visit Kandhamal on Thursday.


PM says Centre monitoring situation in Orissa

Manmohan SinghNew Delhi, Sept 3 : Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on Wednesday said that he fully understood the anguish expressed by many people over the violent incidents in Orissa and said the Centre is monitoring the situation in the State.

The Prime Minister was replying to a letter from Sister Nirmala of the Missionaries of Charity. He said it has been emphasised to the state authorities that every step must be taken to restore normalcy.


Normalcy returning to Orissa, Centre supports CBI probe

OrissaBhubaneswar, Sept 4 : Orissa is slowly returning to normalcy as banks, shops, business establishments, schools and other offices are opened on Thursday following the lifting of day curfew in Jeypur town of Koraput District.

The day curfew has been lifted after four days as situation has improved. The vehicular traffic from the district headquarters of Koraput and Jeypur has resumed.

According to official sources, no fresh violence or untoward incident has been reported from anywhere in the district for the last three days.


Orissa Government bans VHP yatra

Orissa-VHPBhubaneswar, Sept 4 : Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Praveen Togadia’s proposed yatra carrying the ashes of slain Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati throught Orissa will not be allowed assured the State’s Government told the Supreme Court on Thursday.

A bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan, directed the state government to ensure that no untoward incident takes place in riot-hit Kandhamal District.

The Orissa government said prohibitory orders under section-144 have been clamped in the area.


Mumbai Christians protest violence in Orissa''s Kandhamal District

Orissa-VHPMumbai/Patna, Sep 8 : Christians took out a rally in Mumbai on Sunday to protest against the recent violence in Orissa''s Kandhamal District.

Eminent social activists Teesta Setelvad and Swami Agnivesh joined the rally, expressing concern on the attacks against the minority community.


Air-to-air missile 'Astra' fired successfully

Air-to-air missile 'Astra'Chandipur (Orissa), Sept 13: India on Saturday successfully test fired the ''Astra'', which is an active radar homing Beyond Visual Range Air-To-Air Missile (BVRAAM), from the integrated test range (ITR) at Chandipur in Orissa.

The ''Astra'' missile was test-fired from a launcher in the launch pad number 2 of the ITR complex at about 12:05 p. m., defence sources said.


''Astra'' missile test-fired for second consecutive day

''Astra'' missile test-fired for second consecutive day Chandipur (Orissa), Sept 13 : ''Astra'', the indigenously air-to-air anti-aircraft missile was successfully test fired for the second consecutive day on Sunday from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur in Orissa.

The Beyond Visual Range (BVR) missile, capable of ducking radar eyes and attacking enemy targets up to 110 km, was test fired from launch pad number two of the ITR complex at about 11.47 a. m., according to reports.


Cop killed, police station torched in fresh violence in Orissa

Cop killed, police station torched in fresh violence in OrissaBhubaneswar, Sept 16 : Fresh violence erupted on Tuesday in Orissa as an armed mob gunned down a police constable and torched a police station at Gochapada in the communally sensitive Kandhamal District.

Armed with country-made guns and crude weapons, a group of about 500 shot dead a constable and set ablaze the police station early this morning, police sources said.


NHRC team to visit Orissa''s violence-hit Kandhamal District

National Human Rights CommissionNew Delhi, Sept. 16 : The National Human Rights Commission will be sending an investigation team to the violence affected areas of Orissa to make an inquiry on the spot to ascertain the factual position.

The Commission’s move comes on a petition submitted to it by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, seeking protection from violence at the hands of the fundamentalists.

The petition said that the attacks on Christians started with the murder of VHP leader Lakshmanananda Saraswati on August 23, 2008 in Kandhamal District.


Flash floods continue to stall life in various parts of India

AhmedabadOrissaSurendranagar (Gujarat) /Sambhalpur (Orissa), Sept 18 : With no appreciable improvement in weather, flash floods caused due to incessant heavy rains continue to stall life in various parts of India.

People in Surendranagar District in Gujarat are grappling with the flood situation as many areas are under knee-deep water.

The region has received heavy rainfall in last 24 hours and many places have turned into virtual islands making movement difficult in the region.


Orissa reeling under floods, death toll rises to 12

Bhubaneswar, Sept 19 : The death toll in the current rain and flood has gone up to twelve in Orissa.

Three children were washed away in Tel river in Subarnapur district.

According to the state Disaster Management department, the water level in Mahanadi river system is steadily rising though rainfall has stopped in upper and lower catchments.

Evacuation operation has been launched on a big scale to shift the residents of low-lying areas to safer places.

As many as 26 gates of the Hirakud dam on Mahanadi have been opened for quick discharge of water as the level in the reservoir reached its full capacity of 630 feet, official sources said.


Orissa flood situation worsens with seven breaches in Mahanadi embankments

Orissa flood situation worsens with seven breaches in Mahanadi embankmentsBhubaneswar, Sept 20: In Orissa, thousands of people were affected by severe floods as seven breaches occured along the Mahanadi embankments which swept away many villages.

Over 15 lakh people have been hit by the current floods in Mahanadi river system. More than 500 villages remained marooned in Nayagad, Cuttack, Kendrapada and Jagatsinghpur District for the last three days.


Thousands evacuated in India's Orissa state as villages submerged

New Delhi - Thousands of people were evacuated from low-lying areas of Orissa state's coastal districts Saturday as the Mahanadi river breached its embankments after days of incessant rain, officials and news reports said.

The floodwaters submerged hundreds of villages and claimed seven lives, an official of the flood-control room in the state capital Bhubaneshwar said.

"We have received reports that more than 26,000 people have been evacuated in the coastal district of Kendrapada alone as floodwaters have breached embankments in several places," S Das said.


More than 21 million people affected by floods in India

More than 21 million people affected by floods in IndiaNew Delhi - At least 21.8 million people have been affected by floods brought on by incessant rains in 16 states across India during the current monsoon season, a federal government release said Sunday.

A total of 2,229 people have died in rain-related incidents, the federal Disaster Management Department release said. Officials said most of the deaths were cases of drowning or caused by landslides, house collapses and water-borne diseases.


Relief work stepped up in Orissa as floods kill 16

Relief work stepped up in Orissa as floods kill 16Bhubaneswar, Sept 21 : Relief work has been speeded up in Orissa, which is facing floods by one of India''s largest rivers killing 16 people and forcing evacuation of some 200,000 at the weekend.

Large parts of the coastal Orissa were inundated after authorities were forced to open dozens of sluice gates of a dam on the Mahanadi River following heavy rain in the catchment’s area.

Flood victims said though they have been saved from drowning, but all their belongings and wealth were destroyed.


Floods continue to wreak havoc in Orissa

Floods continue to wreak havoc in OrissaPipli (Orissa), Sept 22: Around 16 villages in Pipli district of Orissa continued to grapple with floods which have wreaked havoc in the state for the past few days.

Villages have been inundated and people could be seen wading through knee deep water, while many moved away with their belongings to safer places.

"We are living in deplorable conditions. We have not had anything to eat for past three days. We are waiting for some aid from the government but it is not paying any attention to our plight," said Chittanarayan, a local.


Naveen Patnaik reviews Orissa flood situation

Naveen PatnaikBhubaneswar, Sept 22 : Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday undertook an aerial survey of the flood affected regions of his state to assess the impact of the calamity that has claimed at least 17 lives.

Patnaik did an aerial survey of Cuttack, Nayagarh, Sonepur and Boudh districts of the state.

Speaking to reporters after landing here, he said: “Free kitchen services have been started in the region and clean water is also being made available in the region. Air droppings have been initiated in Cuttack, Kendrapad and Jagatsingh Pur Districts.”


Home Minister to visit Orissa tomorrow to take stock of flood situation

Shivraj PatialNew Delhi, Sept 22 : Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil will be visiting Orissa on Tuesday to take stock of the situation in the flood-hit areas of the State.

He will hold a meeting with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to discuss the flood situation.

The Union Home Minister will undertake an aerial survey of the flood-hit districts including Puri, Cuttak, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara and Jajpur.

He will be accompanied by the Minister of State for Rural Development, Chandra Sekhar Sahu, the Secretary (Border Management) and other senior officers of the Ministry of Home Affairs. (ANI)


Shivraj Patil to take stock of flood situation in Orissa today

Bhubaneswar, Sept 23: Shivraj Patil to take stock of flood situation in Orissa todayUnion Home Minister Shivraj Patil will arrive in Orissa today to take stock of the situation in the flood-hit areas of the state.

During his visit, he will hold a meeting with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to discuss the flood situation.

The Union Home Minister will undertake an aerial survey of the flood-hit districts including Puri, Cuttak, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara and Jajpur.


Life Stops In Orissa Due To Heavy Floods

Due to the fear of serious flood, hundreds of families have started for the highway Life Stops In Orissa Due To Heavy Floods in Kendrapara.

Due to the heavy floods in new areas in the coastal district, people had to move away from homes. The water breaches in the river embankments have increased with a shocking speed.

Local people reported, “The water around our village has been rising too fast and that's why we decided to get out.”


Indian navy rescue teams leave for Orissa

OrissaNew Delhi, Sept 23 : Five comprehensive diving teams with all technical support elements from the Eastern Naval Command have been pressed into action for rescue and relief operations in the flood affected areas along the Mahanadi River in Orissa.

The diving teams along with inflatable rubberized boats with out board motors, rescue equipment and medical supplies left for Bhubaneswar on Monday.

They will join two teams of INS Chilka which is already deployed in the affected areas, in assisting the special relief commissioner.


Flood situation remains grim in Orissa

Floods continue to wreak havoc in OrissaBoudh (Orissa), Sept 23 : Flood situation in Orissa remained grim on Tuesday following heavy rains in the catchment area of Mahanadi River.

Large parts of the state were inundated after authorities were forced to open dozens of sluice gates of the Hirakud dam on the Mahanadi River.

The Mahanadi breached its banks at several places and floodwaters had swept away highways in some areas.

In Boudh District of Orissa, many villages like Kutasingha, Panimora, Kaleswar, Kumari, Bankapudi remained marooned today.


Patil reviews flood situation in Orissa

Shivraj PatialNew Delhi, Sept 23 : Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil undertook an aerial survey of flood affected areas of Orissa to day.

Union minister Chandra Shekhar, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Leader of Opposition J B Patnaik, state Congress president Jaydev Jena and senior Home ministry officials accompanied Patil.

Patil also held a closed-door meeting with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and discussed the latest flood situation.


Flood situation continues to be grim in Orissa

Pipli (Orissa)/Pilibhit (Uttar Pradesh), Sept 24 : Flood-situation in Orissa remained grim with hundreds of thousands of people still stranded in villages with no food and water.

Despite falling water level in rivers including the Mahanadi, surging waters from over 100 breaches continued to submerge fresh areas in coastal areas of the State.

Inundation of more areas in Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur and Cuttack districts worsened the plight of the marooned villagers in Mahanadi delta region with relief teams still finding it tough to reach many inaccessible pockets.

Around 16 villages in Pipli District of the State continued to grapple with floods, which have wreaked havoc in the state for the past few days.


Orissa remains tense, curfew clamped in nine areas

Kandhamal (Orissa), Sept 25 : Curfew was clamped in nine sensitive areas of Orissa''s Kandhamal district today in the wake of fresh violence in the region.

Nearly 100 houses and a couple of churches and prayer houses were either set afire or damaged in about half-a-dozen places under Daringibadi, G Udaygiri and Tikabali police stations around dawn break.

At least 42 companies of security forces including CRPF and Rapid Action Force (RAF) have been deployed since violence broke out after the recent killing of VHP leader Laxmanananda Saraswati.

Though additional forces were rushed to several sensitive areas to control the situation, movement of security personnel was badly affected due to obstructions on roads placed by miscreants.


Orissa flood situation worsens

Relief work stepped up in Orissa as floods kill 16Bhubaneswar, Sept 25 : In the wake of 43 new breaches on embankments in Mahanadi delta region in Orissa, flood situation worsened on Thursday with more areas submerged in floodwaters.

The Flood Control Cell in Bhubaneswar said: "Fresh areas are inundated as the number of breaches in Mahanadi system, which stood at 100 till yesterday, rose to 143 today."


Centre asks Orissa Govt. to initiate strict measures to ensure law and order

Naveen PatnaikNew Delhi, Sept 25 : Keeping in view the continuing incidents of violence against the members of a minority community in Kandhamal District of Orissa, the Central Government has asked the Orissa Government to take effective, focused and firm measures to stop the violence and restore peace and normalcy in the State.

In a communication sent by the Union Home Secretary, Madhukar Gupta today, the Centre has asked the State Government to take measures including identification and apprehension of the elements who continue to stoke communal violence and hatred and indulge in disruptive activities.


Patnaik demands more force to control Kandhamal situation

Bhubaneswar/New Delhi, Sept 26 :Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has demanded more forces from the Central Government to control the situation in Kandhamal district.

"The administration is controlling the situation in Kandhamal district. Every effort is being made for law and order to be maintained. The Central Government has been asked for ten more companies of force in that area," said Patnaik here on Thursday after he reviewed the situation with officials.


More para-military forces deployed in Kandhamal

OrissaBhubhaneswar, Sept 26 : The Centre on Friday rushed more para-military forces to riot-hit Kandhamal District of Orissa, where curfew was clamped in nine sensitive areas in the wake of fresh violence on Thursday.

Following a request from State Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, about 700 para-military force personnel were deployed in troubled areas of the district to strengthen security and prevent further flare up.


Protest outside White House over anti-Christian attacks in India

Manmohan SinghWashington, Sept. 26 : About 100 people, holding placards staged a protest in front of the White House on Thursday to get the attention of visiting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the issue of attacks on Christians in India.

Indians and Americans clustered under a forest of umbrellas, several of those standing in Lafayette Park waved signs such as "Stop the Gang Rape of Nuns" and "Shame on India."


NHRC to investigate facts on violence against Christians in Kandhamal

OrissaNew Delhi, Sept 26 : The National Human Rights Commission has sent its investigation team to look into the issue of the alleged attacks on the Christians in Kandhamal District of Orissa.

The fact finding team is headed by a Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP). The action was taken on the petition filed by Catholic Bishop Conference of India on September 16 seeking protection from violence at the hands of fundamentalists.

The Commission also issued a notice to the Chief Secretary and the Director General of Police of Orissa on the same day to submit a report within two weeks on the issue.


Curfew relaxed in Raikia town of Kandhamal district

KandhamalKandhamal, Sept 27: The day curfew was relaxed today in Raikia town of Kandhamal district of Orissa with the improvement in the situation.

The State Government has decided to deploy armed police in every ten kilometer stretch of major roads to stop road blockades, in the district.

State Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik will review the law and order situation in the district headquarter town Phulbani later today.


Eight killed in firecracker blast in India

OrissaNew Delhi  - At least eight people, including six children, were killed in an explosion in a village in eastern India as people were making firecrackers ahead of a festival, news reports said Monday.

Two villagers were injured in Sunday's explosion in Balasore district, 230 kilometres north of Orissa's state capital, Bhubaneshwar, the PTI news agency reported.

The blast occurred when people were illegally making firecrackers in a house and some of them caught fire, police told The Statesman daily.


Dead body found in Orissa’s Raikia region

Relief work stepped up in Orissa as floods kill 16Raikia/Bhubaneshwar, Sept 29 : A dead body was found floating in a river near Raikia region of Orissa on Monday, just two days after communal clashes in riot hit Kandhamal District of the State.

According to reports, the body is allegedly of a Christian man who had gone missing after the communal clashes, which broke out on Friday.

Though no fresh incidents of violence have been reported from the Kandhamal, situation continues to be tense and security forces have been deployed to restore peace in the area.


Three killed in fresh violence in Orissa’s Kandhmal District

Orissa Kandhamal (Orissa), Sept 30: At least three people were killed and several were injured when the police opened fire to disperse the violent mob in Orissa’s Kandhmal District today.

Police opened fire when a 500-strong mob of women attacked the Raikia police station demanding release of two tribals arrested in connection with communal riots.

According to sources, the local tribals have blocked all roads to Raikia by placing logs of trees and boulders to prevent entry of additional police forces.

On Monday, a dead body was found floating in a river near Raikia region of Orissa.


One dead in Hindu-Christian clashes in India

Orissa, IndiaNew Delhi  - A woman was killed and more than a dozen people injured in renewed violence Tuesday in India's eastern state of Orissa, where clashes between Hindus and Christians have claimed 30 lives in the past month, news reports said.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, during a visit to France, condemned the violence and instructed the Orissa government to maintain law and order.

Local news outlets reported that mobs set fire to more than 100 Christian homes and a church in three different places in the central district of Kandhamal.


Fresh anti-Christian violence in India's Orissa state

OrissaNew Delhi  - Hindu rioters defied a curfew and torched Christian homes and a church in renewed violence against the community in India's eastern state of Orissa even as the police arrested 40 people on charges of arson, news reports said Thursday.

At least 30 houses and a church were set afire in a village near Phulbani, the main city of the central Kandhamal district on Wednesday, the NDTV network reported.

In an attempt to clamp down on the rioting, authorities had issued a curfew in the region over 300 kilometres west of state capital Bhubaneshwar after a Christian woman was killed and 12 people injured in Hindu-Christian clashes on Tuesday.


Indian Diaspora facing flak of Christians over violence in India

Manmohan Singh, OrissaMilan (Italy), Oct 2 : The recent attacks on Christians in Orissa and Karnataka are tarnishing the secular image of India in Europe. Christians are questioning the effectiveness of the law and order machinery in the country.

Christians in Italy want to seek Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s intervention to ensure safety of their co-religionists and churches in India against activities of hoodlums.

Members of the Christian community in Italy were developing a dislike for Hindus and Sikhs residing in the European countries.


Oscar, Lalu Resolves To Take Up Orissa Issue In The Cabinet

With the unceasing violence taking place in Orissa and Karanataka, Railway Oscar, Lalu Resolves To Take Up Orissa Issue In The CabinetMinister Lalu Prasad Yadav and Labour Minister Oscar Fernandes have resolved to take up the issue before the Cabinet meeting which is scheduled to take place on Friday.

The matter needs to be reviewed and some concrete measures have to be taken before it gets worse. With Prime Minister Manmohan Singh citing the attacks on Christians in the States of Orissa and Karanataka as “acts of national shame” and the issue being aggravated, reaching a solution will be given a priority at the Meeting.


Drive to seize guns in riot-torn areas of India's Orissa

OrissaNew Delhi - Authorities in the eastern Indian state of Orissa launched a drive Saturday to seize guns in Khandamal district, which has been wracked by violence against minority Christians, news reports said.

A total of 144 persons surrendered their firearms, while 361 others who had licensed guns ignored the order, Khandamal district police chief Praveen Kumar was quoted as saying by PTI news agency. He said these guns as well as illegal ones would be seized.

At least 103 person have been arrested for instigating violence in the district.


Growing demand for President’s rule in Orissa: Patil

Orissa, Shivraj Patil, President's RuleNew Delhi, Oct 4 : Home Minister Shivraj Patil today said that the Centre is unhappy with Orissa Government''s lack of action and there is growing demand on Presidents’ rule in the State.

While reacting to the ongoing violence in the State, in a private TV channel, Patil said that six warnings have already been sent to the Orissa Government.

Patil said the Orissa Government''s inaction is a breach of the Constitution and there is a growing demand for President''s rule in the state.


Naveen Patnaik invites Tata to set up Nano project in Orissa

Naveen Patnaik invites Tata to set up Nano project in OrissaBhubaneswar, Oct 4 : Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday in a letter to Tata Motors Chairman Ratan Tata formally invited him to set up the “Nano” small car manufacturing unit in the state.

Patnaik asked Tata to utilise the company''s unused land at Gopalpur in Ganjam District and avail all facilities provided to investors under the Industrial Policy Resolution-2007.


Missionaries of Charity exhorts Orissa govt. to take strong steps to restore peace

Orissa-VHPBhubaneshwar, Oct 7 : Superior-General of the Missionaries of Charity Sister Nirmala on Tuesday exhorted the Orissa government to continue with strong steps to restore peace in areas affected by violence against Christians.

Sister Nirmala called on Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in Bhubaneshwar today to apprise him of sentiment of the Missionaries of Charity about recent violence against the Christian community in Kandhamal District.


Union Cabinet to meet today over attacks on Christians

Union Cabinet to meet today over attacks on ChristiansNew Delhi, Oct 8 : The Union Cabinet will meet here today to discuss the recent spate of attacks on Christians in Orissa and Karnataka.

The Cabinet is expected to mull over the "growing demand" for the dismissal of the BJD-BJP Government in Orissa in the wake of communal violence in Kandamal district.

Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh had recently sought a report on attacks on Christians in Orissa, Karnataka and other states from the Home Ministry.


Orrisa Maoist Claim Responsibility of the Murder of VHP Leader Swami Laxmananand

In an interview to a TV channel from a deserted forest, the leader of the banned outfit Vamsadhara Dalam, Sabyasachi Panda claimed responsibility for the death of VHP Leader Laxmananand .The leader spoke with his back to the camera and face covered with a towel and said "Hindu organizations such as VHP are targeting minorities, particularly Christians, attacking them and burning their homes. They are playing riot politics. Our organization is giving all support including arms and man power to the minority Christian members at some places in Kandhamal district to put up resistance against attack on them by Hindu Fundamentalist".


NCSC to inquire into anti-Christian attacks in Orissa

OrissaNew Delhi, Oct. 8 : The National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) has decided to inquire into the recent attacks on Christians in various parts of the country.

A full-fledged team of the Commission chaired by NCSC Chairman Buta Singh will visit Orissa on October 17 and 18 to inquire into the whole episode.

The team will visit the worst affected Kandhamal District and adjoining areas to assess the situation. NCSC members will also hold meetings with the Chief Secretary, Home Secretary and the police chief of the state.


Orissa Police confirms arrest of main accused in nun rape case

OrissaBhubaneswar, Oct. 8 : Orissa Police on Wednesday confirmed that they had arrested the prime accused in the alleged rape of a young nun during the anti-Christian attacks in Kandhamal District.

Somanath Pradhan of Rajaghar village, which falls under the jurisdiction of the Baliguda police station in Kandhamal district, was arrested yesterday. State police officials said that so far five persons have been nabbed.


President''s rule move in Orissa unjustified: Naveen Patnaik

Naveen Patnaik, OrissaNew Delhi, Oct 11 : Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today criticised a reported move by the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government to consider imposing President''s rule in his state.

Referring to a demand by opposition parties for dismissal of his government, the 62-year-old Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leader said, "It is totally unjustified and politically motivated."

"My government is doing its best to bring the situation under control," he added.


Christian families in Orissa being forced to abandon their faith

OrissaNew Delhi, Oct. 13 : India, the world’s most populous democracy and officially a secular nation, is today haunted by a stark assault on one of its fundamental freedoms.

In Orissa, which has been riven by six weeks of religious clashes, Christian families like the Digals say they are being forced to abandon their faith in exchange for their safety.

A New York Times report says that these forced conversions come amid widening attacks on Christians here and in at least five other states across the country, as India prepares for national elections next spring.


Orissa CM says Kandhamal violence due to SC-ST conflict

Naveen Patnaik, OrissaNew Delhi, Oct 13 : Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said that the recent incidents of violence in the State were a manifestation of the "conflict of interest" between Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, at the National Integration Council (NIC) meeting here on Monday.

While referring to two incidents of communal violence in Kandhamal, Patnaik said there were clashes between members of SC and ST communities in the past due to conflict of interest in matters of land rights, employment opportunities and religion.


Tribal Land to be freed from Non-Tribals

At last the Orissa govt. has decided to act for the major cause of tribals.

The non-tribals holding tribal lands in the scheduled areas of the state will be evicted. The state revenue and disaster management department has issued instructions in this regard to the district collectors and sub-collectors in the scheduled areas. The districts, where the problem of grabbing of tribal land by non-tribals is rampant, include Kandhamal, Koraput, Malkangiri, Raygada, Gajapati, Nawarangapur, Sundergarh, Mayurbhanja, Keonjhar.

Besides, some areas in the Balasore (Nilagiri) and Sambalpur district (Kuchinda) are also included in the scheduled areas.


Netaji Museum to have INA Memiors

Netaji Subhash

Netaji Subhash Birthplace National Museum in Cuttack would have an exclusive gallery to display Indian National Army (INA) memoirs including photos, portraits and regalia of INA soldiers.

The gallery is expected to be completed and opened to public on the 112th birth anniversary of Netaji on January 23, 2009.

'We are going to add three new galleries to the existing eight of the double-storied museum this year which would be inaugurated on the birth anniversary of the legendary leader. Of these, one gallery would be exclusively dedicated to INA memorabilia,said an official.


Laxmananda Swamiji's killing was planned last December

Killing of Swami Laxmananda Saraswati has taken a new turn as the crime branch desribed it as a pre-planned murder. The investigating agency claimed that a group of Maoists were hired to execute the crime and there was a master mind behind the murder. But it didn't reveal anything about the master mind saying he had been identified.

The plan to eliminate Saraswati was made immediately after the December 2007, communal violence in Kandhamal. Laxamananda Saraswati's killing sparked a wave of communal violence in Kandhamal district Of Orissa which left more than 40 persons dead and thousand of houses damaged. .


VHP leaders barred from visiting Kandhamal

VHP leaders barred from visiting KandhamalPolice prevented the entry of a a group of senior Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal leaders from visiting Kandhamal on Friday 17th of October. The VHP's all India joint general secretary Shyamji Gupta, state secretary Gauri Prasad Rath and Bajrang Dal national convenor Subash Chouhan were among those prevented from visiting Kandhamal, police said. Later they were driven out of the district.


Orissa Govt. to file affidavit in nun rape case

Orissa Govt. to file affidavit in nun rape caseThe Supreme Court has granted time to the Orissa government to file a counter-affidavit to the petition seeking a CBI investigation into the alleged rape of a nun in Kandhamal. The Orissa Government submitted before the Supreme Court that the petitioner, who is seeking a CBI investigation in the Kandhamal nun rape case, should be directed to place on record some reliable and concrete evidence to substantiate his allegations.


Judicial probe begins into Kandhamal violence

Orissa-VHPBhubaneswar, Oct 18 : The judicial investigation into the Kandhamal violence in Orissa has begun.

A one-man Commission headed by a retired judge of Orissa High Court, Sarat Chandra Mohapatra, is probing the incident.

Justice Mohapatra has held initial discussions with district officials and senior police officers in Phulbani before proceeding to the Jaleshapata Ashram, where Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati and four of his aides were found dead on August 23.


Enterprise Orissa 2008 Inagurated by Chief Minister

Enterprise Orissa 2008 Inagurated by Chief MinisterOrissa's annual flagship industrial exhibition 'Enterprise Orissa' 2008 was inaugurated by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday.

Mr Patnaik emphasised on mega-industries pro-actively playing the role of mother industries and encouraging ancillary and downstream development activities.

"While traditional steel, aluminium and power sectors continue to grow rapidly, we are happy to see a more diversified and broad based industrial portfolio in the state today," he said while referring to agro-processing, advanced manufacturing, ship building and IT.


Paswan demands CBI probe into Kandhamal Violence

Paswan demands CBI probe into Kandhamal ViolenceUnion Minister Ram Vilas Paswan has softened his stand on Orissa violence. Now he has decided to demand for CBI enquiry rather than article 356. He would lead a delegation of eminent persons from all minority communities to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh soon to demand a CBI probe into the recent incidents in Orissa.

The minister met a delegation of prominent Christian leaders and described the violence against the community members as naked dance of communalism.


Refugees Promised Security in Kandhamal

After withdrawing curfew from riot-hit Kandhamal, the district administration has now focused on the safety of refugees.  Refugees sheltering in relief camps will be given full security if they return to their homes, assured the police on Saturday.  

The DG of Orissa police Manmohan Praharaj, who is in Kandhamal to review the situation has asked the refugees not to worry. The refugees were afraid of returning to their villages fearing violence.

Steps are being taken to ensure return of people who fled the district and even left the state in search of livelihood, the DGP told.  


One more Arrested in Nun Rape Case

One more person was arrested in connection with the alleged rape of a nun in Orissa's riot-hit Kandhamal district on Saturday.

The accused Gajendra Digal was arrested last night from the locality of K Nuagaon area where the nun was allegedly raped.

The 29-year-old catholic nun was allegedly raped during Orissa bandh on August 25.

With this arrest, the total number of arrested persons rose to nine. Out of them, Crime Branch had arrested five persons in Kandhamal district, three others were nabbed in Kerala, but the nun remains untraced.

Director General of Police Manmohan Praharaj had claimed that the main accused was among the arrested persons, though none of them have so far confessed the crime.


Orissa on the top in terms of Communal Violence in the country

Orissa on the top in terms of Communal Violence in the countryOrissa has become the top most state in terms of communal violence in India. Orissa has registered 158 cases of communal violence, the highest among all states in the country, according to the Centre. This is the figure for the year 2008.

The number of such cases registered in the first nine months of the year were more than all such incidents reported in the state from 2000 to 2007.


Congress Holds Peace Rally in Kandhamal

Congress Holds Peace Rally in KandhamalHundreds of Congress activists Sunday took out a massive rally in BJP strong hold Baliguda town in Orissa's Kandhamal district.  

Congress workers marched through the main roads of the town spreading the message of communal harmony among the people.


Orissa bags first Titanium project in India

The Orissa Government has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to set up Rs 2000 crore integrated titanium complex and sector specific special economic zone (SEZ) at Chhatrapur in Ganjam district.

The MoU was signed between the state government and Titanium Products Private Limited (TPPL), a joint venture between the government of Russian Federation and Saraf Group.

SM Shroff, chairman of TPPL and the state industry secretary, A P Padhi signed the documents in the presence of Chief Minister, Naveen Patnaik in the state secretariat.

The company will invest about Rs 2000 crore in two phases. While the first phase will cost about Rs 1200 crore, another Rs 800 crore will be invested in the second phase.


More violence in Kandhamal; 1 shot, 2 houses burnt

Violence has again returned to strife-torn Kandhamal district. A tribal was shot at and two houses torched in G Udaygiri block of Kandhamal late on Saturday evening.

Sources said that a group of unidentified people shot Manoj Pradhan (33), a Hindu, in his leg outside his residence. "The attackers fired five rounds at Pradhan but only one bullet hit him. He was rushed to a local hospital and later shifted to district hospital, Phulbani. The attackers couldn't be identified. But the possible role of Christian group of Maoists is being probed.


Orissa clears Investment proposals worth 27K crore

The state level Single Window Committee of Orissa Government has cleared 13 industrial projects involving a total investment of Rs 27,193 crore. It includes three power projects, one steel, two cement, five iron ore beneficiation and pelletisation, on photo cell and one brewery project.

The panel cleared six of the 13 projects that involve an investment of less than Rs 1000 crore. The rest, which involve investments of more than Rs 1000 crore each, have been recommended to the High-Level Clearance Committee (HLCC) headed by chief minister Naveen Patnaik. Chief Secretary of the State heads the State level Single Window committee.


Bajaj Allianz Life inks ‘Bancassurance pact’ with Rushikulya Gramya Bank

Bajaj Allianz Life inks ‘Bancassurance pact’ with Rushikulya Gramya BankRushikulya Gramya Bank (RGB), a premier Regional Rural Bank (RRB) of Orissa operating in Ganjam and Gajapati districts, has joined hands with Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance, India’s leading private life insurance company to provide life insurance solutions through its branches.

Under the arrangement, Rushikulya Gramya Bank will offer insurance products through its distribution network of over 79 branches, spread over in two districts.


Orissa Govt.— 90 % Of Company Jobs Will Be Reserved For Locals

It's good news for people of Orissa. The state government will now force companies investing in the state to provide at least 90% of the jobs in their projects to the locals.


Supreme Court declines plea for CBI inquiry into alleged nun''s rape case

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)New Delhi, Oct 22 : The Supreme Court on Wednesday declined to hand over to Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) inquiry into the alleged rape of a nun in Orissa''s Kandhamal District by some Bajrang Dal activists.

A Bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan said that at this stage we do not think that handing over the investigation into the case from the state police to the CBI is in the interest of the victim and in the interest of justice. We think that the victim will cooperate with the state police.


No CBI probe into Nun Rape case : Sureme court

The Supreme Court, on Wednesday, rejected a plea for CBI probe into the rape of a nun in Kandhamal district of Orissa. At the same time the Court has asked the Nun to co-operate in Crime Branch enquiry.

A three judge bench headed by Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan also asked the Orissa government to take generous view in re- building churches in the riot-hit Kandhamal.

The bench, consisting of Justice P. Sathasivam and Justice J.M. Panchal, rejected the plea for a CBI probe of Cuttack Archbishop Raphel Cheenath saying that the state police have already arrested nine accused.  


Kandhamal returning to normalcy, prohibitory orders lifted

The riot-hit Kandhamal district of Orissa is slowly returning to normalcy. District authorities have lifted the prohibitory orders under Section 144 CrPc from entire district from today. But the night curfew in five worst affected police stations will continue. 

District collector of Kandhamal Dr. Krishan Kumar said, "The night curfew would be lifted at any time from these areas while reviewing the law and order situation. There is no news of any untoward incidents in last fortnight."


17 fishermen arrested for fishing illegally

17 Bangladeshi fishermen were arrested near Orissa coast for illegally fishing in the Bay of Bengal.

They were arrested near Paradip Port of Orissa according to police. "They were fishing illegally in Indian waters some 35 nautical miles from the port. The coast guards caught them and handed over to police. "said a police officer of Paradip area.

This has become a regular problem in Orissa coast in which Bangla fishermen crossing international boundaries are forcibly fishing in Orissa coast. Even they have started to live in that area permanently. Population of these migrants could touch a figure of 30 thousand in Erasama and Rajanagar block of Jajgatsinghpur and Kendrapara district respectively.


Crime Branch issues notice to father, Nun to speak out today

The Crime Branch of Orissa Govt. has issued a notice to the Arch-Bishop Raffel Chinnath in connection with the controversial Nun rape case in Kandhamal. The notice was served, according to the provision 160 of Indian Penal Code. As father Chinnath has moved to the Supreme Court seeking CBI probe into the matter, The CB thinks that he might know the whereabouts of the Nun. State police has failed to trace the nun for last two months.

Rejecting the plea of father, The Apex court of the country had advised the Nun to cooperate in CB probe. 

Meanwhile the State Govt. expressed its willingness to conduct test identification (TI) parade at any place on the choice of the Nun.


Sister meena accused orissa police of failing to protect her

Sister meena accused orissa police of failing to protect herThe nun who was raped by a rampaging mob in Kandhamal district of Orissa on August 25 finally broke her silence. On Friday she accused the Orissa police of completely failing to protect her and demanded that the case be transferred to the Central Bureau of Investigation. 

Her face covered, Sister Meena Lalita Barwa made a statement at a press conference under the auspices of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India. 


Bharat Biotech bags IT project worth Rs 100 crore from Orissa Government

Bharat BiotechBharat Biotech International Limited, one of the fastest growing biotechnology companies in India, has been selected by the Orissa government to develop the state's first public-private-partnership Biotech Pharma IT park at Andharua near Bhubaneswar.

The Orissa government has allocated 54.86 acres to Bharat Biotech, which will be handed over in two phases towards the development of the integrated industrial park to attract and promote pharmaceutical, biotechnology and IT industries in the state.


Crime Branch To Probe Father's Death

The Orissa government has ordered for Crime Branch enquiry to the death of Father Bernard Digal. Father Diggal was allegedly attacked in Kandhamal and died in Chennai in Last Tuesday.

A criminal case in this regard had been registered in a Police Station at state Capital Bhubaneswar. Father Joseph Kalathil, the vicar-general of the archbishop's house in Bhubaneswar has lodged the complaint, said police DG M.M Praharaj. Father Digal will be creamated today near St.Vincent Church. A post-mortem was conducted at the Capital Hospital here after the deceased's body was flown from Chennai via Mumbai.


Five policemen suspended in Orissa’s nun rape case

Bhubaneshwar Oct 31 : Orissa government today suspended five policemen in the nun rape case in Kandhamal district.

Talking to reporters Home Secretary T K Mishra said that five policemen have been placed under suspension for misconduct and negligence of duty in connection with the nun rape case.

The action was taken on the basis of a joint report filed by Kandhamal district collector Krishna Kumar and Superintendent of Police Prabin Kumar.

According to official sources, the policemen who were suspended are assistant sub-inspector Rasananda Mallick, Havildar major K N Mohapatra and Havildars S K Hamim, J S Khan and B K Mohanty, official sources said.


Five cops suspended in Orissa Nun rape case

Orissa Government has suspended five policemen, including an ASI in the controversial Nun rape case in Kandhamal for dereliction of duty.

Earlier the catholic Nun, in her statement, had accused these policemen of behaving "friendly" with the attackers. She said that these policemen had refused to help her despite her request.

Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Pattanaik, embarrassed over the incident, directed top police officers to identify the guilty officers, who were deployed at K.Nuagaon, when the incident occurred.

The Nun was allegedly raped on September 25, during Orissa bandh at K.Nuagaon in riot-hit Kandhamal district.


2500 doctors resigned in Orissa

Angry over the dismissal of three of their colleagues, who had allegedly cut off the palms of five tribals' nearly 2500 Government doctors in Orissa resigned en masse to protest the Government decision.

"The doctors have sent the mass resignation letters to the state health secretary, Anu Garg," Madhusudan Mishra, president of the Orissa Medical Service Association (OMSA), told.

OMSA has total of 3000 members. Remaining doctors would tender their resignation in a day or two he said.

The controversy of cutting palms erupted while these three doctors were performing autopsies on five tribals killed in police firing in kalinganagar industrial hub in Jajpur district, 120 Kms from Bhubaneswar.


Posco project to complete in time

Posco project to complete in timeThe South Korean steel giant, Posco is committed to complete Posco's Orissa project, despite global financial crisis. The director of Posco-India project, Mr Sung said that the global slowdown would not affect the project and company would go for Rs 51,000 crore projects in Orissa. He also reviewed the work of the project during a meeting called by the chief secretary Mr Ajit Tripathy.


Hindu leader shot dead in Kandhamal

Violence returned to Kandhamal district of Orissa, after a month with the killing of a Hindu leader by unknown gun men.

Dhanurjay Pradhani of village Kumbharigaon under Brahmanigaon police limits was shot dead by three un-identified armed extremists at a construction site near the village school on Wednesday afternoon.

Pradhani was an activist of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and said to be influential in the locality.

'We suspect Maoist hand in the killing,' Arun Sarangi, deputy inspector general of police, told.

But the locals have blamed Christians for the murder.

SP Praveen Kumar with one company of CRPF personnel has rushed to the spot.


Nun to Cooperate Orissa police

The Catholic nun, raped during Kandhamal communal violence, has finally agreed to co-operate Orissa police for test identification parade.

But she has demanded for a change in the venue for parade.

"She is under treatment and therefore cannot travel such a long distance," Cuttack-Bhubaneswar Archbishop Raphael Cheenath said on Wednesday.

"She had undergone a traumatic experience at Kandhamal, therefore she would not like to go there again to identify the culprits," added Chennath.

The catholic nun was allegedly raped during Orissa Bandh on 25 August at Knuagaon.


Center to send Ministerial team to Kandhamal

The Union Government has decided to send a Ministerial committee (GoM) to riot-hit Kandhamal of Orissa to take stock of the situation within a fort night.

Central Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar will head the team. Other members of the team are Social Justice Minister Meira Kumar, Tribal Affairs Minister P R Kyndiah and Transport Minister T R Baalu.

The team, during its visit, would inspect the relief camps and would also discuss the situation with the state Government.

According to sources, the Ministerial team is likely to apprise the Centre of its observation before the beginning of Parliament session. The session is scheduled to begin on 10 December.


Orissa judge accused of misbehaving with woman

Orissa police have registered a case against a judge for allegedly misbehaving with a woman in a train, an official said Friday.

Jhum Mohanty a resident of Damanjodi o Koraput district had filed the complaint.

According to police sources, while she was traveling to Bhubaneswar by Hirakhanda Express Santanu Rajguru, Chief Judicial Magistrate of Nabarangpur allegedly misbehaved with her.

"We have registered a case against Rajguru under sections 509 (making insulting gestures) and 323 (causing hurt with full knowledge and intention) of the Indian Penal Code," a police officer in the Bhubaneswar Railway station said.


Kandhamal tense due to the killing of RSS worker Dhanu Pradhan

The killing of RSS worker Dhanu Pradhan by un-identified extremists had triggered tension in the riot-hit Kandhamal district once again.

A mob of 2000 tribals gheraoed the Brahmanigaon police station and demanded immediate arrest of the culprits.

All shops and business establishments at Brahmanigaon  and villages near it remained closed.

Meanwhile the district administration has enforced prohibitory orders under section 144 CrPc in the local area as a pre-cautionary measure.

"We don't rule out escalation of violence in view of the murder," Director General of Police Manmohan Praharaj said.


Orissa Govt Accepts Resignation Of 7 Doctors

Orissa Govt Accepts Resignation Of 7 DoctorsThe Health Department of the State government has accepted the resignation of seven doctors including that of Madhusudan Mishra, president of Odisha Medical Services Association (OMSA), the organization heading the agitation in the state from the last few days.

In order to make the government concede to their various demands, nearly 2000 doctors across the state had submitted their resignation papers a few days ago.

The government on the other hand has termed the doctors resignation as illegal.


Orissa imposes ESMA against doctors

Orissa imposes ESMA against doctorsTaking a tough stand against agitating government doctors, Orissa government on Friday imposed Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) against them.

The govt. has also accepted resignation of seven of their leaders. The govt. has prohibited strikes in health services with effect from today for a period of six months invoking the provisions of ESMA, 1988.

ESMA will be applicable for all the doctors working in different hospitals across the state.


Orissa government to impose ESMA on doctors going on strike from Sunday

Orissa government to impose ESMA on doctors going on strike from SundayBhubaneswar, Nov 8 : The State Government of Orissa has decided to impose Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) against the government doctors threatening to go on strike from Sunday.

The state government has declared the proposed strike as "illegal, unjustified and detrimental to public interest".

The doctors have been protesting against the dismissal of three doctors and seeking their reinstatement.

Besides, they are demanding the creation of a cadre structure and security at workplaces. (ANI)


Police arrest four Maoists in Orissa

OrissaMalkangiri (Orissa), Nov 8 : The Special Operation Group (SOG) personnel of Orissa on Friday nabbed four Maoists, including three women, from Malkangiri district for their alleged involvement in several criminal cases.

The four Maoists were arrested during a raid on a Maoists training camp in Jakalkunda forest area, about 700 kilometers from Bhubaneshwar.


Christian leaders meet Orissa CM, discuss Kandhamal riots fallout

Orissa on the top in terms of Communal Violence in the countryBhubaneswar (Orissa), Nov. 10 : A team of Christian leaders, including the Archbishop of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar Raphael Cheenath, met Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in Bhubaneswar on Monday, and reportedly discussed the fallout from the anti-Christian attacks in the state''s Kandhamal District.

Urging Patnaik to take additional measures to restore normalcy in the riot-affected district, the Christian leaders said that they wanted those who have fled to be brought back to their homes.


Court directive to Nun to appear for TIP on 19th

Court directive to Nun to appear for TIP on 19thBaliguda court in Orissa Monday directed the nun, who was allegedly raped in Kandhamal, to appear for test identification parade on 19 November.

“The nun had sought one month’s time through her lawyer from the court citing that the she was ill and could not come,” assistant public prosecutor B. Loknath Dorai said.

“However, the court of Sub-Divisional Judicial Magistrate Dola Gobinda Barik at Baliguda re-fixed the date to Nov 19 rejecting her plea for one month’s time and directed the nun to attend the legal procedure on scheduled date,” Dorai said.


Threat letter to father Chennath

Threat letter to father ChennathThe Cuttack-Bhubaneswar Archbishop, Raphael Cheenath, has said that he is facing a threat to his life after the killing of Swami Laxmananda Saraswati and violence that followed it.

"I received an anonymous letter from some Hindu youth organisation which threatened to eliminate me," Archbishop Cheenath said.

He met Chief Minister Naveen Pattanaik on Monday. He told that he had informed the CM about this threat.

The letter came to him in Last week of August.

Swami Laxamananda Saraswati's was brutally killed in Kandhamal district on August 23.


Arcelor-Mittal to submit its DPR for Orissa project

Arcelor-Mittal to submit its DPR for Orissa projectWorld's largest steel maker Arcelor-Mittal will submit its detailed project to Orissa government soon. And also the company would proceed in a phased manner to implement its Orissa project.

Company's Chief Executive Officer (India) Vijay Bhatnagar said that the detailed project report is ready and an expert panel is going to examine it.

"Once the study by the technical experts is over, the DPR will be submitted to the state government," Mr Bhatnagar informed.


India test fires Shaurya missile

India test fires Shaurya missileBalasore (Orissa), Nov. 12 : India successfully test fired the medium-range surface-to-surface ballistic missile ''Shaurya'' on Wednesday.

The missile has a range of 600 kilometers and can hit targets inside Pakistan and China.

The indigenous missile was launched from an underground facility with an in-built canister at 11.25 am from Complex-3 of the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur, DRDO sources said.

The sleek missile has a flight duration of 485 seconds and is capable of carrying conventional warheads with a payload of about a ton. (ANI)


Australian doctor held for paedophilia in Orissa

Orissa on the top in terms of Communal Violence in the countryPuri (Orissa), Nov. 14 : Police in Orissa''s coastal city of Puri have arrested an Australian doctor for allegedly assaulting minor boys in an orphanage.

Paul Allen, an Australian volunteer working in an orphanage run by France''s Mary Ellen Berger, was accused of abusing orphans aged between 13-17 years.

Allen was picked up from Vishakapatam, Andhra Pradesh, where he had gone absconding since November 5, the day Mary Ellen had lodged a complaint.


Sixty five-year-old Australian doctor held for pedophilia

A 65-year-old Australian doctor, working as a volunteer in an orphanage in Puri of Orissa, has been arrested for allegedly sexually abusing children.
Allen was working as a volunteer at an orphanage run by the Mary Ellen Gerber Foundation.

The arrest was made after the orphanage's founder, a French national Mary Gerber, lodged a criminal complaint to police.

Allen was picked up from Vishakapatam, Andhra Pradesh, where he had gone absconding since November 5, the day Mary Ellen had lodged a complaint.

“The medical examinations were conducted. He is totally involved in this crime. After the examination, he was produced before the court. Now he is remanded to judicial custody,” said a senior police officer of Orissa.


Six workers killed in Mining accident in Orissa

Six workers killed in Mining accident in OrissaAt least six workers were killed and several others injured Friday in an open pit mine in Orissa’s Jajpur district when a mound of earth collapsed on them.

“A group of workers had gone to a quarry to extract laterite in a mining area located under Sukinda police station. A heap of earth suddenly collapsed on them,” police SP of the district told.

Six bodies have been recovered from the debris as the fire brigade launched a rescue operation with the help of local residents


17 killed in Orissa mining accident

At least 17 workers were killed and dozens injured when a mound of earth collapsed on them.

The incident happened in Sukinda mining area of Jajpur district while they were extracting laterite from a quarry.

"A group of workers had gone to a quarry to extract laterite in a mining area located under Sukinda police station. A portion of the quarry suddenly collapsed on them," District Superintendent of Police D.S. Kutey said.

The exact number of workers at the open laterite mine in Jajpur district, about 150 km from state capital Bhubaneswar, was not known, Kuttey said.

The district administration fears that there could be two or three more people stuck under the debris.


Hundreds protest in New Delhi against POSCO plant in Orissa

OrissNew Delhi, Nov 15 : Hundreds of people marched in New Delhi on Saturday to protest against a plant being built by South Korean steel maker POSCO in Orissa.

Activists belonging to anti-POSCO groups - POSCO Pratirodh Sangram Samiti - PPSS, POSCO Pratirodh Solidarity and All India students Federation held placards and banners to pursue central government about the drawbacks of the project.

Anti-POSCO project activists have come to New Delhi to raise their voice against the project and also to demand release of at least three anti-POSCO leaders arrested in Orissa last month.


Hindu leaders warn to hold Orissa Bandh on Christmas day

Hindu leaders warn to hold Orissa Bandh on Christmas dayNow it’s a direct challenge to Orissa govt.

Thousands of Hindus have warned that they would observe Orissa bandh on coming Christmas Day if the state government failed to arrest the killers of the VHP leader by December 15.

Despite a heavy downpour on Saturday morning, more than 50 thousands of Hindus from across Orissa gathered in Bhubaneswar for a rally called by Swami Lakshmanananda Saraswati Shradhanjali Samiti.


Group of Ministers formulate six-point strategy for peace in Orissa

Bhubaneshwar, Nov 20 : A Group of Ministers (GOM) sent from the Centre to Orissa''s Kandhmal District has announced a six-point strategy to strengthen peace, normalcy and communal harmony in the area.

In a review meeting with State Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in Bhubaneswar on Wednesday, the Central Ministers asked the State Government to protect the lives and properties of minorities in the district.

The three-member group led by Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar assured the State Government of the Central Government''s support on confidence building measures for people in Kandhamal.

Pawar said a report would be submitted to Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on the visit.


Milkmen in Orissa take to streets demanding a minimum support price for milk

Orissa MapBhubaneswar, Nov 21 : Unable to withstand the loss and sufferings, hundreds of milkmen in Bhubaneswar on Friday, took to the streets with milk cans on their heads and pour it on the road, in front of the collector''s office.

According to the protestors, the state government headed by Naveen Patnaik, is showing apathy towards the issues relating to the milk producers.

Milkmen, together with their milk cans, gathered in front of the District Magistrate''s office and poured 5,000 litres of milk on the road.


Ban orders back in Kandhamal

Ban orders back in KandhamalAuthorities in Orissa have imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) in some parts of the riot-hit Kandhamal district on Monday to prevent a rally planned by tribals.

The Kui Samaja Kalyan Samittee had announced to hold a massive rally at Parampanga village. The rally was planned to protest alleged police atrocities against innocent tribals.

"We have clamped prohibitory orders in Daringbadi area and banned the rally as it may flare up tension in the region," a district police official said.


Court to hear Kandhamal Nun case on Dec 6

Court to hear Kandhamal Nun case on Dec 6The SDJM Court of Baliguda in Kandhamal district has postponed the hearing of controversial Nun rape case till Dec 6.

'No petitions were filed before the court today (Monday) either by the crime branch or by the nun. The court posted the date in the case to Dec 6 without making any observation,' Additional Public Prosecutor (APP) B. Loknath Dora said.

The Court had issued a notice the nun last month, directing her to be present at the TIP at Baliguda Nov 10. Subsequently the date was changed to Nov 19 following her petition for more time.


Orissa clears Rs. 1.27 lakh crore proposals

Naveen PatnaikThe Orissa government has cleared projects worth Rs 1,27, 727 crore covering areas like Steel Complex, Power Projects, Aluminum Smelter, downstream and ancillary projects.

The high-level clearance authority (HLCA) headed by chief minister Naveen Patnaik gave green signal to 15 high-value projects in one go.

The list includes 3 projects in the steel sector, 2 projects in the aluminium sector, 6 projects in the power sector, one downstream unit, and two beneficiation and pelletisation units.


Winter session of Orissa Assembly begins

OrissaBhubaneshwar, Nov 26 : The winter session of Orissa Assembly begins on Wednesday.

The first supplementary statement of expenditure for the year 2008-09 will be presented during the session.

The Orissa Municipal Corporation Amendment bill, Orissa Contingency Fund bill, the Orissa Reservation of Vacancies of Posts and Services Amendment bill and the Orissa Doctors and Health Service workers Protection bill are among eight bills to be introduced during the session.


Orissa government clears projects worth Rs 127727cr

OrissaThe Orissa government today gave its nod to the projects worth Rs 1,27, 727 crore for the industrialization of the state. New projects would be started in the field of steel, aluminium, power, downstream and ore beneficiation.


Orissa Govt. presents Rs. 7857 crore supplementary budget

OrissaOrissa Finance Minister Prafulla Ghadei on Wednesday presented the supplementary budget of Rs 7587.69 crore for financial year 2008-09 in the Assembly amidst protests from BJP legislators.

The State Government will spend Rs 188.89 crore under plan, Rs 5388.93 crore under state non-plan, Rs 98.78 crore under Central plan and Rs 211.11 crore under centrally sponsored schemes.

'This is the highest supplementary budget since independence,' Ghadei added.


High-alert in Orissa to prevent bird-flu

High-alert in Orissa to prevent bird-fluOrissa government has sounded high-alert all over the state to prevent an outbreak of bird flu in the state after the disease hit areas in Assam.

The Govt. has directed all officials to be on alert and take measures to prevent an outbreak.

"The fishery and animal husbandry resource development department has alerted all its officials across the state", director of the department Bishnupada Sethi told.

"No flu has been detected in our state. But still we are taking all precautions," he said.


Orissa nun moves HC for shifting TIP venue

The 29-year-old Catholic nun, who was allegedly raped in Kandhamal, has filed a petition in the Orissa High Court for shifting the venue of the Test Identification parade of the accused persons from the riot-hit district.

"The TI Parade may be allowed to be held at New Delhi or at any other place in Orissa, preferably Bhubaneswar or Cuttack. Many criminal elements are roaming free in the area and if she goes to Baliguda Court there is reasonable chance of danger to her life," the petition urged.


Nun rape case TI Parade to be held at Cuttack: Orissa HC

Nun rape case TI Parade to be held at Cuttack: Orissa HCThe Orissa High Court on Friday directed Crime Branch to conduct the identification parade of catholic nun, who allegedly raped during kandhamal violence, at Cuttack.

The single judge bench of Justice B K Patal, which had earlier completed hearing on the nun's petition, did not, however, fix any date for the TIP.

Accordingly the prosecution (crime branch of Orissa police) was directed to make an application before the court of the sub-divisional judicial magistrate at Baliguda in Kandhamal district for further action.


Orissa: Abducted jawans released

The four jawans of Orissa State Armed Police (OSAP) who were abducted by a group of armed Maoists in Malkangiri on Friday were released on Saturday afternoon. 

The four returned to their camp at Janbai safely at around noon, Malkangiri district Superintendent of Police Satyabrata Bhoi said. 

The jawans were returning from Chitrakonda market to their camp at Janbai under Papermetla police station area, about 80 km from district head quarter, on Friday evening when the Maoists abducted them, Bhoi, said. 

Following the incident, combing operation and patrolling by security forces have been intensified in the entire area, which border Andhra Pradesh, to track down the ultras, police said. 


Orissa Revenue Minister resigns over sex scandal

Bhubaneshwar, Dec. 11 : Orissa's Minister for Revenue and Disaster Management, Manmohan Samal , has resigned following disclosures of his involvement in a sex scandal.

Samal tendered his resignation to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. The Chief Minister has sent the resignation letter to State Governor M C Bhandare..

Samal however, defended himself, saying that it was a ''''conspiracy'''' to defame him and the party.

''''It is a well-planned conspiracy by the opposition to drag my name into the controversy to tarnish the image of the party and government,'' he said.

Samal's resignation came after the opposition led by the Congress called for his ouster from the State Cabinet.(ANI)


Maoist blow up police station in Orissa

A police man was seriously injured when Maoists exploded a landmine near a police outpost in Orissa's Rayagada district early Thursday.

Maoists set afire a police outpost at the Danga Sorada village, two houses of policemen and an ale house, locally known as Mada Bhati, where country liquor is served.

"When policemen reached the outpost, the booby trap left by the rebels in a leaflet exploded," District Superintendent of Police A.K. Singh told.

The injured jawan was admitted to Christian Medical Hospital at Bisamkataka where his condition was stated to be critical.

The Naxals put up banners and posters near the police outpost and also attacked a liquor godown, police said.


Congress legislator suspended from Orissa assembly

Congress legislator suspended from Orissa assemblyA Congress MLA was suspended from the Orissa Assembly for seven days for allegedly throwing a headphone towards the Speaker on Thursday.

Speaker Kishore Mohanty suspended legislator from Koraput Tara Prasad Bahinipati for seven days when the Government Chief Whip Bikram Keshari Arukh moved a resolution in this regard.

Though the Speaker asked Bahinipati to leave the House, the Congress MLA refused to do the same.


Orissa Minister resigns over sex-scandal

Orissa Minister resigns over sex-scandalOrissa Revenue and Disaster Management Minister Manmohan Samal resigned on Wednesday evening in the wake of a controversy generated by his alleged involvement in a sex scandal.

Mr. Samal, who has been under pressure from various quarters for the past several days, met Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at his residence and handed over his resignation letter.

The CM has accepted his resignation and forwarded it to the Governor, said Govt. soures.


Presence of flourishing fake medicine racket in Orissa confirmed by Vigilance reports

The report presented by the state vigilance directorate has confirmed the presence of flourishing fake medicine racket in Orissa. Report submitted in Orissa High Court yesterday confirmed a thriving racket in the supply of substandard drugs and transfusion fluids for government hospitals.

Report said that the corrupt officials of the state health department, responsible for purchase and storage of drugs valued at several crore, are suspected to be hand in glove with manufacturers.

Report said: “In most cases, spurious drugs circulation is carried out with the knowledge and connivance of officials of the drug controller, Orissa, and local drug inspectors who are on the payroll of unscrupulous dealers.”


Orissa Crime Branch nailed four more for killing VHP leader

Orissa Crime Branch arrested four more persons on Sunday in connection with the killing of Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati and four of his aides at his ashram at Jaleshpata on Aug 23.

"Four persons were arrested on Sunday. Some more persons were also detained for questioning" state Inspector General of Police (Crime Branch) Arun Kumar Ray said.

The arrests came just a day before the VHP's ultimatum to the Orissa Govt. to arrest the killers of Swamiji.

The saffron organization has threatened to shut down the state if the culprits were not arrested before 15 December 2008.

Police arrested those four including a hard core Naxalites from the Kotagada area of the tribal dominated district Kandhamal.


Naveen Patnaik: Orissa not to permit Christmas Bandh

On Monday, Orissa govt. stated forcefully that it will not permit the state-wide shut-down on Christmas day called by some Hindu groups.

Announcing this in side assembly Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said, "No shutdown will be permitted Dec 25. The government will come down heavily on those who try to create any trouble.”

Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati Sradhanjali Samiti (SLSSS), an organization linked to Hindu out-fits has threatened to observe Orissa Bandh on Dec 25 if the Govt. fails to arrest all those involved in the murder of Swami Laxmananda Saraswati. 

The police have already arrested seven persons, including four on Sunday in connection with the killing of Swamiji.


Orissa to implement revised pay structure from January

Orissa to implement revised pay structure from JanuaryOrissa government has decided to implement the recommendations of the sixth pay commission for state. The revised pay scale of employees would be effective from January along with the 40 percent of the arrear for 35 months. The decision is aimed to get the support of thousands of employees in the forthcoming election of state assembly.


L&T picks three new orders worth Rs 1372 crore

L&T picks three new orders worth Rs 1372 croreEngineering and construction major, Larsen & Toubro (L&T) has received three orders worth Rs 1,372 crore from three different steel companies for engineering related works.

The company has received an order worth Rs 516 crore from Vedanta Aluminium for setting up of an alumina refinery at its three-million-tonne-per-annum (MTPA) Lanjigarh plant in Orissa.

The scope of the order, which would be completed in 20 months, involves civil, structure, tanks, equipment erection, piping and commissioning assistance for the alumina refinery.


Bhitarkanika: Home to over one lakh birds

Bhitarkanika: Home to over one lakh birdsA census conducted at Bhitarkanika National Park in Orissa this year has shown the presence of over one lakh birds.

"An estimated 1,01,293 birds, including migratory feathered guests were sighted during the annual bird census 2008, carried out in the water bodies of the Bhitarkanika National park and its nearby areas on December 11 and 12," informed Rajnagar forest (Mangrove) and Wildlife Division DFO P K Behera.


Handicraft fair draws hordes of visitors to Bhubaneswar

Orissa MapBhubaneswar, Dec. 23 : Artisans from different parts of the country and abroad are exhibiting their works at an ongoing 13-day handicraft fair here.

The fair is a major draw for art and craft lovers to watch a variety of works of art including palm-leaf paintings, woodcrafts, ethnic hand-woven clothes and sculptures.

Most of the stalls here are looking like thatched huts fitting well into the theme of the fair "Rural crafts making".


Christmas mass held peacefully in India's troubled Orissa state

New Delhi - Midnight Christmas mass was attended by thousands of Christians amid heavy security across India's eastern state of Orissa that had witnessed widespread anti-Christian violence earlier this year, a news report said Thursday.

"We have not received information of any trouble. It seems to be all peaceful," Raphael Cheenath, Archbishop of Bhubaneshwar, the state capital, told the IANS news agency.

Cheenath said the Christmas mass was held with prayers and singing in churches across the state, adding that he was satisfied with the security arrangements made by the government.


Solemn festivities mark Christmas for riot hit Orissa

OrissaKandhamal (Orissa), Dec 26 : Somber celebrations marked Christmas for Christians living in the shadow of communal violence that rocked their lives earlier this year in Kandhamal district of Orissa.

Leading a life of discomfort in refugee camps, they, unlike in the past, observed the festival in a low key.

Instead of decorations and fanfare, high police presence in and around their camps deployed for ensuring security was manifest in the area this year.

Unlike previous years Christmases, it was a normal day for the victims as they went about their routine in the area.


High alert against Bird flu sounded in Orissa

orissaBhitarkanika (Bhubaneshwar), Dec 29 : As hundreds of migratory birds have started flocking the Bhitarkanika National Park in Bhubaneshwar, authorities have sounded high alert following the outbreak of bird flu in West Bengal.

Several migratory birds and residential avian species like sand piper, plover, duck, goose, heron, spoon bill and egret flock the park every winter.

Many shore bird species like sand piper, plover, duck, goose, heron, spoon bill and egret were seen around the park.

Avocet, which comes from cold places like Siberia and Bar-headed Geese from Ladakh, were also sighted near Raitapatia and Chataka.


TCS inaugurates development centre in Bhubaneswar

TCS inaugurates development centre in Bhubaneswar TATA group owned Tata Consultancy Services started its new IT development center in Bhubaneswar on Sunday. The development came when entire IT sector is facing the heat of global financial crisis. The new center was inaugurated by Orissa Chief Minister, Naveen Patnaik in a function held in state's capital. 

The function was also attended by Surjya Narayan Patro, Minister of Energy, Culture & Information Technology, Pradipta Kumar Mohapatra, Commissioner-cum-Secretary, IT, Orissa and TCS leadership team of S Ramadorai besides Managing director of Tata Steel, B Muthuraman.


Supreme Court orders protection of Christians in Orissa

Supreme Court On Monday the authorities in Orissa were ordered by the Supreme Court to offer security to thousands of Christians who fled their homes after some of the worst religious violence in decades last year, said the officials.

The order came to light as a measure to support Christian leaders who criticized the state government since it failed to provide enough security for scared Christians still living in camps and forests.

The top court also banned the State government which is run by a coalition of a regional party with Hindu nationalists, from withdrawing troops from riot-infested zones without permission of the central government.


Blockade stops UK firm Vedanta from entry to tribal lands in Orissa

Kondh (Orissa, India), Jan. 7 : A blockade mounted by more than 50 protestors stopped British mining company Vedanta entering the land of the Dongria Kondh and other Kondh tribes under cover of darkness last night.

According to a press release issued by Survival International, the FTSE 100 company plans to mine bauxite on the Dongria Kondh’s sacred mountain in the state of Orissa, laying waste to the forests they depend on for their survival.

Tuesday night’s action follows high level meetings at the weekend between Vedanta’s billionaire chairman Anil Agarwal and Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who backs the mine.

After the meeting, Agarwal told journalists that mining would start ‘within a month or two’.


Kandhanal Registers Highest IMR In India - A Report

Kandhanal Registers Highest IMR In India - A ReportCommunally sensitive Kandhamal district of Orissa is all set to carry another vague record. The district, dominated by the tribals has registered country’s highest infant mortality rate (IMR).   

In its latest publication of “Infant and Child Mortality in India : District Level Estimates'', a New Delhi-based Population Foundation of India (PFI) estimates that IMR in Kandhamal was 121 per 1000 live births, while the national infant mortality rate per 1000 live births stands at 54.


Phased withdrawal of Central forces from Orissa to start today

Phased withdrawal of Central forces from Orissa to start todayBhubaneshwar, Jan 15: The government will begin withdrawal of its Central forces from Orissa''s Kandhamal District in a phased manner from today.

The Central forces had to be deployed in Kandhmal following the communal violence between Hindus and Christians that triggered after murder of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh leader and anti-conversion leader Lakshmananand Saraswathi.


Tribes protest British firm's mining plan in eastern India

OrissaNew Delhi - Hundreds of tribe members, armed with bows and arrows, staged a march in India's eastern Orissa state Saturday to protest a mine planned by British firm Vedanta Resources, news reports said.

The tribe members assembled at Semelbhata village in Kalahandi district, about 600 kilometres south-east of the state capital of Bhubaneshwar. They marched for about five kilometres, shouting slogans against Vedanta and the state and federal governments, the IANS news agency reported.


Terracotta art gives a new lease of life to clay artisans in Orissa

OrissaKoraput (Orissa), Jan 20 : Terracotta art has given the artisans in Orissa a fresh enthusiasm in their lives.

Villages like Kusumi, Dashmantpur, Laxmipur, Kumbharput in the district are practising the craft to earn their livelihood.

"People here are involved in this art for past eight to ten years. It has been really of benefit. When this was not there, we had to go out to work as hired labourers. But now after this, we are earning better. We also have mini-trucks to carry out products," said Rajiv Kumar, an artisan.


Orissa hosts classical music festival

Orissa hosts classical music festivalBhubaneshwar, Jan 22: Orissa recently hosted a classical music festival in the backdrop of an 11th century temple in a bid to promote tourism.

Hundreds of music lovers gathered here to savour the essence of Indian classical music blended with the architectural beauty of 11th century Rajarani temple.

The three day long festival that concluded on Tuesday provided a platform to over 11 artists who showcased both classical Indian music and non traditional music.


Kesoram Industries to stop production in Orissa

Kesoram Industries to stop production in OrissaKesoram Industries has announced that the company will close production of tyres at its Balasore, Orissa facility to reduce expenditure and cut costs amid tight financial conditions.

B K Birla flagship Kesoram Industries is a leading manufacturer of yarn, tyres and cement and facing low demand from domestic and international market. The ongoing slowdown and liquidity problem are the major reasons cited by the company to halt production at its Orissa facility.


Orissa police files chargesheet in VHP leader murder case

Orissa police files chargesheet in VHP leader murder caseBhubaneswar, Jan. 30: The crime branch of the Orissa Police on Friday filed a chargesheet against seven people for the murder of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati and his aides.

A crime branch source said the chargesheet was filed in a lower court of Kandhamal District.

"Investigations will, however, continue and we may go for some more arrests in the case and file a final chargesheet later," he said.


Maoists provoke tribals to protest against grant of land for COBRA battlions

Orissa MapKoraput, Feb 2 : Tribals of Koraput district in Orrisa are being provoked by Maoists to oppose the decision of the administration to give 400 acres of land for setting up Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (COBRA) battalion to fight the Maoists.

Scared that the backlash by the Maoists and threat to intensify their movement, people are opposing the setting up of land in the area.

"Thirty villages in the district are opposed to this decision. We have written to the local representatives and collector. If the authorities do not listen then we would take out protests," said Sonu Majih, a villager.


Vedanta Aluminium Receives St John Ambulance Award

Vedanta Aluminium Receives St John Ambulance AwardShri Muralidhar Chandrakant Bhandare, Governor of Orissa, has presented the prestigious ‘St. John Ambulance Award – 2008’ to Vedanta Aluminium Limited, Lanjigarh for its involvement towards training and promotion of First Aid not only among its staff, contract workers and other shareholders but also in whole region of Kalahandi, at large.

Dr. Mukesh Kumar, Company’s CEO received the award at the Annual General Meeting of St John Ambulance held at Raj Bhawan, Bhubaneswar on February 3, 2009.


Bhushan, Titanic, Olympian Steel ready to pick 26% stake in Orissa Sponge

Orissa Sponge Iron & SteelIn a bid to acquire a majority stake in Orissa Sponge Iron & Steel, three un-listed Indian firms have jointly made an open offer to acquire 26 percent of its equity, for Rs 300 per share.

Under the arrangement, Bhushan Power and Steel Ltd along with Titanic Steel Industries and Olympian Steel Industries would acquire stake in Orissa Sponge through open offer.

The open offer is for the acquisition of 52 lakh shares of Rs 10 each of Orissa Sponge from its existing shareholders. The offer will open on April 3 and close on April 23.


Astrology Is Not Science, But Superstition!

Astrology Is Not Science, But Superstition!The clash between rational and disciples of astrology has been continuing for hundreds of years.

The first group believes that astrology is a mere superstition and a nice gambit to deceive people, while the later group has wide regards for it.

After the introduction of internet or other sophisticated technology, the attraction of Indian astrology knows no bounds.

The foundation of Indian astrology or Jyotisha is the idea of bandhu of the Vedas or scriptures, which is the link between the microcosm and the macrocosm.


Maoist threat spreads panic in Orissa town

OrissaJaypore, Feb. 11 : People in Orissa's Jaypore town are living in fear, after receiving threats from Maoists.

Naxals (local Maoists) have reportedly pasted posters at various places in the town, threatening the people and issuing death threats to local politicians and police officials.

The town is located in Koraput District, one of the worst Naxal-affected districts in Orissa.

Panic-stricken people hardly step out of the town fearing naxal attacks.

The minimized traffic movement in and outside the town is a testimonyl to the constant feeling of fear and uncertainty.


Casual workers of Nandankanan zoo on indefinite strike

Orissa MapBhubaneswar, Feb 11 : Casual workers at the Nandankanan Biological Park in Orissa have gone on an indefinite cease work agitation over a demand for regularization of their jobs. This has caused hardship to about 1200 animals at the zoo.

The casual workers said that their job involved risks and complained of not receiving any health or social security benefits.

"We do not have any kind of healthcare facilities at all. In case of any mishap, there is no such relief," said Bhaskar Samal, a contractual employee.

The authorities, however, claimed that they have made alternative arrangements.


Probe launched into train accident in eastern India

India FlagNew Delhi  - The Indian government has launched a high-level inquiry into a train accident in the eastern state of Orissa that claimed nine lives and left 45 wounded, officials said Saturday.

Junior Railways Minister R Velu announced that the probe will ascertain how the Coromandel Express derailed from its tracks at Jajpur, 120 kilometres of state capital Bhubaneshwar on Friday.

"The Commissioner of Railways Safety will conduct the probe and submit the report within seven days," Velu told reporters after visiting the accident site.


Naveen Patnaik visits train mishap site

Naveen Patnaik invites Tata to set up Nano project in OrissaJajpur, Feb 14, : Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday visited the site of the Jajpur railway station where Howrah-Chennai Coromandel Express derailed yesterday.

According to reports, 15 people were killed and another 100 injured after the derailment of the train.

More than 1,500 people were aboard the train at the time of derailment.


Orissa asks for a Rs. 1,500 crore grant to tackle economic meltdown

Orissa on the top in terms of Communal Violence in the countryBhubaneshwar, Feb 18 : Orissa''s Finance Minister Prafulla Ghadei said on Wednesday that the State Government has approached the Centre for grant of Rs. 1,500 Crore to counter the economic slowdown.

Ghadei said the demand had been forwarded to Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia.

"The world is going through a massive economic meltdown and the Indian economy and economies of states are faced with challenging times," Ghadei said in a memorandum to Ahluwalia.


Illegal fishing in Orissa kill world’s smallest marine turtles

Olive Ridley turtlesBhubaneshwar, Feb. 21  Trawlers used in illegal fishing have killed hundreds of Olive Ridley turtles at Orissa's coast. Olive Ridley turtles are the smallest of the marine turtle species in the world.

About 2000 dead turtle were spotted at Devi river mouth in Puri district in Orissa, and hundreds of dead turtles have been found in other places like Rusikulya Mouth, Puri beach and Konark beach.

Every year, thousands of the Olive Ridley turtles become prey to the trawlers used in illegal fishing. Trapped in the sharp motor blades, many get ruthlessly butchered or suffocated in fishermen''s gill nets.


Indian artist makes a wooden replica of the Taj Mahal

Bargarh (Orissa), Feb 23: An artist in Orissa unleashed his creativity to make a wooden replica of the Taj Mahal, one of the ''Seven Wonders of the World''.

Arun Kumar Meher, an artist adept in wooden art in Bargarh district took three months to create the five feet high and ten feet wide wooden replica.

"Not everyone can go to Agra to see the actual Taj Mahal made by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan for his wife Mumtaz. So, for those who have not witnessed the monument, my work will give them an idea of how it actually looks like," Meher said.

Different shades of Sal wood were used for making the replica. No external colours were added to it.


One killed as Maoists strike in Orissa

Orissa MapMalkangiri, Feb 23 : One person was killed in Gobindpali village here on Monday as Maoists set afire to a BSNL control room, a forest office and over a dozen vehicles.

Superintendent of Police Satyabrata Bhoi said that the Maoists attacked the house of construction contractor Prasanna Swain and killed him with sharp edged weapons.

The village is about 50 kilometers from Malkangiri.

The Naxals also ransacked furniture in a forest range office and a power distribution centre, which was under construction.

Additional police force has been deployed in the area in the wake of the accident.


Orissa Cong bans slogans

Congress workers and activists in Orissa have been asked not to raise slogans in the name of state leaders or local leaders in a meeting or a rally. Henceforth, members will have to chant slogans in the names of AICC chairperson Sonia Gandhi, party's general secretary Rahul Gandhi, prime minister Manmohan Singh and the Congress alone. 

A decision to this effect has been communicated to all the district unit presidents, sources said.

Subhashish Mohanty/ DNA-Daily News & Analysis Source: 3D Syndication


Mercury has kissed 40ºC in Orissa

It's still February, but the mercury has touched 40.4ºC in Orissa's capital Bhubaneswar. Wednesday's temperature was the highest in the last 45 years. There was marginal relief on Thursday when the mercury came down to 38.5ºC.


Orissa’s iron ore processing units ask Oil-mining Corporation to cut ore prices

 Orissa’s iron ore processing units ask Oil-mining Corporation to cut ore pricesBhubaneshwar, Feb. 27 : Orissa's small-scale iron crushing units are facing severe crisis, as they are not assured of ore lumps supply at reasonable rates from the Oil Mining Corporation.

The 300 crore rupees small units provide employment to 40,000 persons in the district.


Maoists blow up a railway station; abduct two officials in Orissa

Maoists blow up a railway station; abduct two officials in OrissaSundergarh (Orissa), Feb 28 : About 60 Maoists have triggered explosions at the Bhalulata railway station, 25 km from Rourkela on Howrah-Mumbai section, and abducted two railway officials in Orissa''s Sundergarh district early Saturday.

According to the local railway police, the station building was virtually razed to the ground as its roof collapsed under the impact of the explosions done with the help of landmines.


Bhushan Energy makes counter offer for Orissa Sponge

The three-way battle to control Orissa Sponge Iron and Steel Ltd has taken a new turn with Bhushan Energy Ltd's decision to offer 330 rupees per share for 20 percent stake in OSLS against Monnet Ispat's offer of Rs 310.

Other players including BNS Steel Trading Pvt. Ltd, BBN Transportation Pvt. Ltd, BNR Infotech Pvt. Ltd and BNR Consultancy Services Pvt. Ltd are also in the race to acquire stake in the firm.

The Bhubaneshwar-based Orissa Sponge holds captive iron ore and coal mines. The company is witnessing battle between Bhushan Power, Monnet Ispat and Bhushan Steel in the past one week. The final winner would be declared on May 13 for the offer opening on April 24, according to information available from Bombay Stock Exchange.


Sahara India Power Corporation inks MoU with Government of Orissa

Sahara India Power Corporation inks MoU with Government of OrissaSahara India Power Corporation Ltd., the unit of Sahara Prime City Limited has informed that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Government of Orissa for setting up a 1320 MW (2 x 660) Coal Based Thermal Power Plant in Turla Tehsil of Balangir District.

The Turla plant, which is proposed to be built on an area of 1,500 acres, planned to begin its first Unit of 660 MW by February 2013 while the second unit of 660 MW is expected to start working within 6 to 8 months thereafter.


Bhushan Steel tightens grip on OSIL

Bhushan Steel tightens grip on OSILThe battle for management control of Orissa Sponge Iron and Steel (OSIL) has intensified after Bhushan Energy, part of the Neeraj Singhal promoted Bhushan Steel group, acquired 4.09% stake from the open market at Rs 342.85 per share on March 3 and a further 0.65% the following day at Rs 359.95 per share.

The open market acquisitions push up the group's stake in OSIL from 14.85% to 19.95%.

Bhushan Steel also holds 35 lakh warrants of OSIL, which when converted will take its share in the company to 26.6%.


Third successful test of ballistic missile interceptor in Orissa

Third successful test of ballistic missile interceptor in OrissaBhubaneswar, Mar 6 : India on Friday inched closer towards its endeavour to put in place its own home-grown Ballistic Missile Defence System as it successfully carried out the third Interceptor test of Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Wheeler Island in Orissa.

The mission control room burst into raptures as the radar display indicated the interception and destruction of the decoy enemy missile by the interceptor. Friday''s test achieved all the mission objectives.


BJD seeks fringe parties’ support to save government

Bharatiya Janata Party Bhubaneswar, Mar 8 : A day after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) withdrew its support, the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) is working to garner support of fringe parties and independent candidates to save its government.

The BJD has 61 MLA in the 147 members Orissa Assembly.

It now requires 13 more MLA to achieve the magic figure of 74 to remain in power.

The party was close to muster the support of 14 more MLAs from JMM, CPI and CPI-M.

The BJP, which had 32 members in the assembly, suffered a setback as two of its MLAs resigned from the party last week.


NCP to support BJD in Orissa

Nationalist Congress PartyNew Delhi, Mar 8 : The Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), on Sunday expressed its support to the Naveen Patnaik ministry in Orissa, which recently broke down its 11-year-old alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party.

"The MLAs of Nationalist Congress Party in Orissa will support the BJD Government headed by Patnaik," NCP spokesperson D P Tripathi said in a statement.

Pawar claims to have a majority in the 147-member Bhubaneshwar assembly with the support of more than 74 MLAs.

He has said both parties would also contest the assembly and parliamentary elections in the state jointly.


BJD gives list of 76 MLAs

Orissa Chief Minister Naveen PatnaikBhubaneswar, Mar 8 : Biju Janata Dal chief and Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Sunday claimed support of 76 MLAs.

Orissa Governor M. C. Bhandare has asked Patnaik to seek a vote of confidence in a special assembly session on March 11.

"There will be a vote of confidence in the state assembly on March 11 during a special session," Patnaik told reporters here.

According to the party sources, 59 BJD MLA accompanied the Chief Minister to the Rajbhavan.


Congress seeks President’s intervention in Orissa

Congress seeks President’s intervention in OrissaBhubaneswar, Mar 10 : The Congress on Tuesday sought the President's intervention in the trial of strength of the BJD government in Orissa.

The Campaign Committee Chairman of the State Congress Srikanta Jena also demanded the Election Commission's intervention, saying it was violative of the Model Code of Conduct.

"When the general election date has been announced and the code of conduct enforced there is no necessity to call the assembly and give an opportunity to the state government to prove its strength," Jena said in a statement.


Orissa CM Naveen Patnaik to face trust vote

Naveen Patnaik, OrissaBhubaneswar, Mar 11 : Under pressure to prove his government''s majority in the State Assembly after breaking-off with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Naveen Patnaik and his Biju Janata Dal (BJD) will face a trust vote today.

A special one-day session of the State Assembly has been summoned, where Patnaik would require at least 74 votes to prove his majority in the 147-member House.

Meanwhile, the BJP insisted that its members will vote against the Government.


Voice vote sees Naveen Patnaik win confidence motion in Orissa

Voice vote sees Naveen Patnaik win confidence motion in OrissaBhubaneswar, Mar 11 : The Naveen Patnaik-led Biju Janata Dal Government on Wednesday won the trust vote through a voice-vote in the State Assembly here.

The Opposition, however, alleged that the Speaker of the Assembly had behaved unfairly during the motion by not allowing members to speak.

A special one-day session of the State Assembly was summoned on Wednesday, where Patnaik required at least 74 votes to prove his majority in the 147-member House.


Third Front not to project PM candidate ahead of Lok Sabha elections: Bardhan

 Third Front not to project PM candidate ahead of Lok Sabha elections: BardhanBhubaneswar, Mar 13 : The Communist Party of India (CPI) on Friday said that the Third Front would not announce any candidate for Prime Minister's post before the Lok Sabha elections are held.

"The Third Front will not project anyone as its Prime Ministerial candidate during electioneering," said A. B. Bardhan, General Secretary of CPI.

Bardhan said the question of Prime Minister would be taken into consideration only after the elections.


Orissa farmers protest against endorsement of genetically modified seeds

Orissa farmers protest against endorsement of genetically modified seedsBhubaneswar, Mar 18: Upset over the government''s apathy towards cotton growers after they had incurred heavy losses due to illegal cultivation of BT cotton, farmers in Orissa, under the banner of the United Coalition Against Genetic Engineering (UNCAGE) held a protest march here on Tuesday.


Judicial probe ordered into Orissa firing case

OrissaBhubaneswar, Mar. 23 : A judicial probe has been ordered into Sunday's police firing incident in Orissa''s Dhenkanal District that left one person dead and several injured.

According to an official statement released on Monday, the officer-in-charge of the local police station has been suspended, and 100,000 rupees ex-gratia payment has been announced for the family of the victim.

"A judge of the rank of district judge will conduct the probe," the statement said.


UPA intact despite hiccups, claims Congress

UPA intact despite hiccups, claims CongressNew Delhi/Bhubaneshwar, Mar 28 : Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi has said that the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) is intact despite hiccups over seat sharing.


Maoists blow up Forest Range offices in Orissa

OrissaMayurbhanj (Orissa), Mar 29 : Maoists blew up three forest range offices in Similipal Tiger Project (STP) area in Orissa''s Mayurbhanj District early Sunday.

The incident took place at around 1:00 a. m. when Maoists blew up Barahakamuda, Chahala and Dhuduruchampa range offices located in different core areas of the forest reserve, said N Nagaraj Reddy, field director of STP.

They also tied up some tourists at Chahala and Forest personnel at Barahakamuda and Dhuduruchampa

The Maoists also set ablaze two government vehicles. However, there were no reports of any causality.


Four killed in Orissa explosion

Orissa on the top in terms of Communal Violence in the countryBhubaneswar, Mar 29 : At least four people were killed and 13 others injured in an explosion at a house in Purushottampur, 50 km from Orissa''s Berhampur, early Sunday.

According to police official, the incident took place at around 2:00m a. m. when people were allegedly making bombs near the site of local ''danda dance'' festival.

Soon after the bomb under preparation went off accidentally, other finished bombs and explosives caught fire triggering a massive explosion, the sources added.


Death toll reaches 12 in Orissa tornado

Death toll reaches 12 in Orissa tornadoKendrapara (Orissa), Apr. 1: A tornado on Tuesday evening killed at least 12 people and injured 150 others in villages of Orissa''s Kendrapara district.

"Twelve bodies were recovered so far after the furious tornado swept 11 villages in five gram panchayats. A large number of people were injured," Additional Superintendent of Police Kumarmani Meher said.

However, local panchayat raj functionaries and residents of Rajkanika block have put the death toll at 20.


Advani promises religious tours if voted to power

Advani promises religious tours if voted to powerSonepur (Orissa)/ Gaya/Sholapur (Maharashtra), Apr 1 : Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) prime ministerial candidate Lal Krishna Advani has promised religious tours for people if voted to power.

"If BJP gets an opportunity to form the Central Government, our department of tourism will have a special section that will specialise in religious tourism," Advani said at an election meeting at Sonepur in Orissa.


Advani targets government''s policy on terror

Advani targets government''s policy on terrorBhubaneshwar, Apr 1 : Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) prime ministerial candidate Lal Krishna Advani on Wednesday targeted Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh for his statement about the need for India and Pakistan fighting militancy jointly.

Dr. Singh on Tuesday said that India and Pakistan should jointly face the scourge of terrorism.

Addressing a news conference here, Advani termed the Central Government''s policy on terrorism was "deeply flawed".


Rescue operation in full swing in tornado-hit Orissa's Kendrapada district

Rescue operation in full swing in tornado-hit Orissa''s Kendrapada districtKendrapara (Orissa), Apr 2: Relief and rescue operation is in full swing in the tornado-hit coastal district of Kendrapada in Orissa.

Polythene sheets are being distributed to the homeless while free kitchens have been opened in different places.

The district administration has restored road communication.

Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has directed the administration to provide all possible aid to the affected people.


Sonia Gandhi launches Congress poll campaign in Orissa

Sonia Gandhi launches Congress poll campaign in Orissa Bhubaneswar, Apr 2 : Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Thursday launched her party's poll campaign in the state.

The UPA chairperson, who is on a day-long visit to the state, criticized the Naveen Patnaik-led Orissa Government for taking credit for the schemes launched by the Central Government.


Pawar fails to attend BJD-NCP-Left rally in Orissa

Pawar fails to attend BJD-NCP-Left rally in OrissaBhubaneswar, Apr 3 : Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar on Friday failed to join a Biju Janata Dal- Left-Nationalist Congress Party rally here.

According to NCP officials, Pawar could not attend the gathering due to a problem with the aircraft that he was due to travel in.

"I would have liked to address the rally, but could not because of a technical snag in the aircraft," Pawar said.


Maoists destroy two cellphone towers in Orissa

Maoists destroy two cellphone towers in OrissaMalkangiri (Orissa), Apr 4 : Maoists have bombed two signal towers of a mobile phone service provider in Orissa''s Malkangiri District, police said on Saturday.

The incident took place yesterday when Maoists blew up the Kangrukunda and MPV-22 under Kalimela police station located about 30 kilometres from here.

The police officials claimed that they were aware of the attack even before any formal complaints about the incident were registered.


Orissa tornado victims blame authorities

Orissa tornado victims blame authoritiesRaj Kaniha (Orissa), Apr 6 : Villagers in tornado-hit coastal district of Kendrapada of Orissa accused the authorities of turning a deaf ear to their plight.

Villagers said that they were partially starving, as there was no proper arrangement for food and drinking water.

"There is no proper arrangement of food and authorities are only providing us with the biscuits and water. We don''t have sufficient food to eat. We are still unaware of the extent of loss," said Usman Baig, a villager.


Rahul to address rally in riot-hit Kandhamal on Wednesday

Rahul to address rally in riot-hit Kandhamal on WednesdayKandhamal, Apr. 7 : Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi will campaign in Orissa's riot-hit Kandhamal District on Wednesday.

Kandhamal District witnessed the killing of several Christians and the burning of several houses and churches following the murder of VHP leader Laxmanananda Saraswati.

On August 25th, a 29-year-old Catholic nun was allegedly raped and a priest assaulted at Baliguda during a shutdown in Orissa.


Rahul Gandhi to address rally in riot-hit Kandhamal today

Congress General Secretary Rahul GandhiKandhamal, Apr. 8: Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi will address a rally in Orissa’s riot-hit Kandhamal District today.

During his visit, Rahul will attend meetings at Baliguda in Kandhamnal and Dharmagarh in Kalahandi districts.

The district administration has strengthened security at Baliguda, the epicentre of last year''s communal riots.

According to sources, the BJP has decided to bring Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi to divert the people’s attention from Rahul’s address on the same day.


Pawar to address rallies with Patnaik in Orissa

Pawar to address rallies with Patnaik in OrissaBhubaneswar, Apr 8: Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) supremo Sharad Pawar will address four poll meetings with Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday.

Pawar has not revealed any plans to include leaders of the Left parties in the meetings, with which ruling BJD has entered into a seat sharing arrangement.

Meanwhile, the Communist Party of India- Marxist (CPM) state secretary, Janardan Pati, informed that leaders of the Communist Party of India (CPI) and the CPM are likely to take part in a joint press meet this evening.


Self-help group in Orissa making women self-reliant

Self-help group in Orissa making women self-reliantDevla (Orissa), Apr 8 : A large number of women in Devla village of Orissa, are becoming self-reliant with the help of a self-help group, founded by an illiterate tribal woman.

Padma Bhotra, a tribal woman, won several awards and recognition, including the best volunteer award from the United Nations.

She has founded a self-help group in Devla village of Nabrangpur district, in a bid to improve their living conditions in the years to come.


BJD Government has destroyed peace in Orissa: Rahul Gandhi

 BJD Government has destroyed peace in Orissa: Rahul GandhiKandhamal (Orissa), Apr 8 : Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi today said that the Naveen Patnaik-led Biju Janata Dal (BJD) Government has destroyed peace in Orissa.

"Clashes took place in the name of religion in Kandhamal and elsewhere as the non-Congress government in the state was responsible for the spread of disharmony and hatred," he said at an election meeting in this district.

Rahul also said that when the Congress was in power, Orissa was an isle of peace.


Hindustan Dorr bags two new orders worth Rs 66 crore from Vedanta Group

Hindustan Dorr bags two new orders worth Rs 66 crore from Vedanta GroupHindustan Dorr Oliver Ltd, a leading total engineering solution provider company, has bagged two prestigious Orders in Mineral Sector worth Rs 66 crore from Vedanta Group.

The company secured first order worth Rs 48.5 crore from Vedanta Group for their 12.5 LTPA Aluminium Smelter Expansion Project at Jharsuguda.


JSL to raise Rs 500 crore to fund its Orissa Steel Project

Jindal GroupO P Jindal Group, Jindal Stainless Limited (JSL), the India's largest and only integrated Stainless Steel manufacturer, has plans to raise Rs 500 crore through various possible routes to fund its upcoming Rs 5,700-crore stainless steel project in Orissa.

The board of directors of the company stated in a communiqué on Monday that it's considering issuance of securities on rights basis to raise funds.

The move has been planned due to shortfall in the liquidity, which further compelled the company to raise more funds for the Orissa plant.


Naveen Patnaik rules out supporting Congress, BJP government at Centre

Naveen Patnaik rules out supporting Congress, BJP government at CentreBhubaneswar, Apr 8 : Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today ruled out supporting Congress or BJP-led government at the Centre after the general elections.

Addressing an election meeting along with NCP chief Sharad Pawar and CPI (M) leader Sitaram Yechury, Patnaik said he was happy with the seat-sharing arrangement reached between the three parties for Lok Sabha polls in Orissa.


ACC to spend Rs 2900 crore in just two years on expansion

ACC LtdDespite ongoing uncertainty over demand and fears of surplus capacity depressing prices, ACC Ltd., India's foremost manufacturer of cement, has decided to invest Rs 1,600 crore in 2009 and another Rs 1,300 crore next year.

The company officials unveiled the investment plans at the 73rd annual general meeting in Mumbai on Wednesday. ACC stated in a communiqué that it will enhance capacity at Bargarh plant to 2.3 million tonnes (mt) with a 30 MW captive power plant, which is expected to complete by mid-2009.

In addition, the company is also setting up two greenfield grinding plants in Karnataka which would go on steam by the end of the year.


Idea launches its GSM services in Orissa

Idea CellularIn a move to expand its domestic footprint, Idea Cellular, one of the leading mobile service providers, has finally introduced its GSM mobile services in Orissa, covering over 2,200 towns and villages.

The company said, it has rolled outs its service in aim to provide the residents of Orissa superior mobile connectivity, offer whisper clear audio quality, zero call congestion and high capacity, ahead of time.

During launching ceremony, the company has announced an exclusive tariff offer for its subscribers in Orissa, which would be remains valid for next six months.


Seven paramilitaries, four naxals killed in Orissa mine encounter

Seven paramilitaries, four naxals killed in Orissa mine encounterKoraput (Orrisa), Apr. 13 : Seven CISF personnel and four Maoists have been killed in a gun-battle that took place when hundreds of ultras attacked an ammunition store and bauxite mine of NALCO in Orissa''s Koraput district on Sunday night.

More than 100 mineworkers who were taken hostage, are reported to be safe.

Before leaving the area, the Maoists, including some women, robbed the CISF of huge quantities of sophisticated arms, ammunition and explosives.


Central Government reviews security at Orissa’s NALCO mines

Central Government reviews security at Orissa’s NALCO minesNew Delhi, Apr 13: The Ministry of Mines on Monday conducted a detailed review of security arrangements at the National Aluminium Company Limited's (NALCO) Damanjodi Mines following Naxal attack.

An urgent meeting of officials of the Mines and Home Ministries and NALCO, besides Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) representatives was held here.

It was decided to implement both immediate and long-term security measures for PSUs. Follow up meetings are also taking place at the State Government level.


Naxalites pose threat to upcoming Lok Sabha polls in Orissa

Naxalites pose threat to upcoming Lok Sabha polls in OrissaMalkangiri (Orissa), Apr 13: Naxalites have been feverish in their efforts to disrupt the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in Orissa.

They have set up training camps in the forests, skirting border areas of Orissa and Chhattisgarh.

At these training camps, the Naxals have horses, which can be used to commute through forests and mountainous areas. Special educational classes are being organised for the cadres and arrangements for their entertainment have also been made.


Combing operations in Orissa intensified to nab Maoists

OrissaKoratpur (Orissa), Apr 14 : With a view of preventing any further attacks by the Maoist rebels, Central forces on Tuesday intensified combing operations in Orissa''s Koratpur District.

On Sunday night, around 200 heavily armed Maoists had launched a daring attack on the National Aluminium Company''s (NALCO) bauxite mines in Koraput district.

The gunbattle between the ultras and the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel, which lasted for 10 hours, took the lives of 11 CISF men. Bodies of four Maoists, including a woman, were recovered.


Police arrests BJP’s divisive Kandhmal candidate Ashok Sahu in Phulbani

Police arrests BJP’s divisive Kandhmal candidate Ashok Sahu in Phulbani Going by the instructions given by the Election Commissioner, the police Tuesday arrested BJP's Kandhamal candidate, Ashok Sahu, when he was addressing a public gathering in Phulbani. The arrest comes in reaction to Sahu's April 5 inflammatory speech at an election meeting at Raikia; an FIR was lodged against him on April 9.


Preparations begin in riot-hit Kandhamal for general elections

OrissaKandhamal (Orissa), Apr 15 : Preparations are in full swing to hold general elections tomorrow in Orissa’s Kandhamal District.

The camp for the distribution of Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) saw the presiding officials turn out in large numbers to collect them.

The region, which was rocked by communal violence in 2008, is a sensitive area and has been put under high security to keep a check on any untoward incident during the polls.


ArcelorMittal's Orissa, Jharkhand steel projects delayed by two years

Arcelor-MittalThe LN Mittal-controlled company, ArcelorMittal, is reportedly holding up its $20-25 billion proposed steel projects in Orissa and Jharkhand, largely because of the global economic crisis that has weakened demand for steel. As such, the world's biggest steelmaker's pending payment to the state government, for a 1,500-acre land earmarked for the proposed facility, will also be delayed.


Heat wave grips Orissa

Heat wave grips OrissaBhubaneswar, Apr 21: Soaring mercury level has made life miserable for people in Orissa as they grapple with the heat wave.

The temperature hovered around 40 degree Celsius in the state, with some parts like the western region of the state recording a temperature of 43 to 44 degree Celsius.

State’s Meteorological Department predicts that the heat wave will prevail across the state over next 24-hours due to the north-westerly wind blowing from Rajasthan.

According to reports, around 24 people have lost their lives due to the scorching heat.


Two polling officials die of sun stroke in Orissa

Two polling officials die of sun stroke in OrissaBhubaneswar, Apr 23 : Two polling officials died and two others fell ill due to sun stroke in Orissa? s Mayurbhanj and Keonjhar Districts on Thursday.

According to officials, the heat wave death toll in Orissa has now touched 30.

The deceased were identified as Pabitra Mohan Muduli and Somnath Mohanty.

Meanwhile, the officials who were taken ill were rushed to hospital. They were identified as Rahim Khilar and Dambarudhar Mahanta. (ANI)


16 Children Hospitalized After Taking Hepatitis B Vaccine

16 Children Hospitalized After Taking Hepatitis B VaccineAfter being injected the Hepatitis B vaccine at a health camp in Totapada village, 30 km from Bhubaneswar, at least 16 children fell ill and were taken to hospital.

The health camp was organized by an NGO ‘Naibedya.’

Out of the 50 children who were given Hepatitis B vaccine, sixteen children suddenly fell ill and were admitted to district headquarters hospital of Khurda after they complained of vomitting and head reeling.

The police officials said that three activists of the NGO were in custody for interrogation.


Orissa heat wave claims 18 lives

Orissa heat wave claims 18 livesBhubaneshwar, May 2: Constantly rising mercury has claimed 18 lives in Orissa's capital Bhubaneshwar.

As the temperature touched 43 degrees, many people suffered heat stroke in the state.

Orissa has not seen rainfall since last August. Due to rising temperature, sand and the soil have become completely dry, resulting in no cloud formation above the region. The cycle is completed by steep rise in the temperature.

The meteorological centre sees no respite from the heat. It, however, has predicted that these conditions would prevail for the coming days.


Diarrhoea kills nine in Orissa''s tribal village

Orissa on the top in terms of Communal Violence in the countryRaelpeta, Rayagada (Orissa), May 6 : At least nine people have died of diarrhoea in a tribal village of Raelpeta in Orissa''s Rayagada district.

The villagers complain that lack of basic amenities like drinking water, food, roads, transportation and medical centre have added to their woes.


PNB to setup ‘Farmers’ Training Centre’ in Orissa

PNB to setup ‘Farmers’ Training Centre’ in OrissaPunjab National Bank (PNB), one of the 500 largest banks in the world, has proposed to set up a Farmers' Training Centre (FTC) in south Orissa's Ganjam district.

In addition, after considering PNB's plan, the Orissa government has also agreed to provide 7 acres of land to the lender near Karapalli under Rangeilunda block, about 20 km from here for the proposed centre.


Tamil Nadu, Orissa welcomes Loop

Tamil Nadu, Orissa welcomes LoopMonday saw Loop Telecom, a subsidiary of Ruias-managed Loop Mobile (earlier BPL Mobile), making the announcement regarding the soft launch of cellular services in Tamil Nadu and Orissa circles.  

Loop has now become the maiden telecom company among new entrants to start operations with this launch. It should be noted that Videocon group’s Datacom Solutions, Swan Telecom of the Dynamix Balwas group and S-Tel are other operators preparing to unveil services.  


Acute water crisis in Orissa

Acute water crisis in OrissaBolangir (Orissa), May 13: The residents of Bolangir in Orissa are facing an acute water crisis due to the intense heat wave and drought conditions.

The depletion of water table is due to rising temperatures and lack of rain in the area for the past seven months.

The flow of water in the rivers and water channels has been severely affected and so is the piped water supply.

Most of the resident are relying upon the tube wells for their daily chores. In many rural areas women have to walk as much as two to three kilometers to fetch water.


IOC raises Rs 14,900 crore debt for Paradip refinery

IOC raises Rs 14,900 crore debt for Paradip refineryState run oil firm, Indian Oil Corporation has signed a deal with a consortium of banks to raise debt worth Rs 14,900 crore to fund Rs 33,504 crore Paradip refinery project in Orissa.

The company said, in a filing before Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), "IOC has signed a rupee term loan agreement for Rs 14,900 crore with a consortium of 21 lenders led by SBI today."


India test-fires nuke-capable Agni-II missile

India test-fires nuke-capable Agni-II missileBhubaneswar, May 19: India on Tuesday successfully tested the nuclear capable Agni-II missile at Wheelers Island near Balasore in Orissa.

According to a senior Defence Ministry official, Agni-II missile is the surface-to-surface missile with a range of over 2,000 km.

"It was a user trial. The aim of the test is to give the Army confidence to fire the missile on its own," the official said.


BJD government to take charge tomorrow in Orissa

BJD government to take charge tomorrow in OrissaBhubaneshwar, May 20: The Biju Janata Dal leader and Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik will take the oath of office at 11.30 a. m on Thursday marking his third inning as CM.

"I have been invited to form the government by Governor M C Bhandare," Patnaik, who called on the governor at the Raj Bhavan on Wednesday.

Patnaik held discussion with the Governor Bhandare for about 25 minutes.


Jayshree Chemicals, Udhe India tie-up for new technology

Udhe India LimitedJayshree Chemicals, a B. K. Birla group company has announced that it has clinched an agreement with Udhe India, a wholly-owned arm of Uhde Gmbh of Germany, part of Thyssenkrupp Group for acquisition of technology for manufacturing caustic soda at its plant located at Ganjam in Orissa.

Alongside, the company is also searching options to expand capacity at a cost of Rs 1 billion.

As per media reports, the company would finance the proposed project through a mix of equity and debt.


Kidney of an 11-year old goes missing

Kidney of an 11-year old goes missingThe recent case of missing kidney of an 11-year old has once again sparked the issue of organ trade. Police are presently investigating the case reported by father of the child.

Babuli Nath, a native of Tirtol in Jagatsinghpur district, has complained that a kidney of his son Abinash has gone missing after the operation. The boy was operated for removal of his appendix at a private clinic in Cuttack in October, 2006. Abinash complained of pain in the abdomen this year. Two separate ultra sonography tests showed that his right kidney was missing.


Hindustan Dorr Oliver gets order worth Rs 24.50 crore

Hindustan Dorr Oliver LtdMumbai-headquartered Hindustan Dorr Oliver Ltd. has secured an order worth Rs 24.50 crore from National Aluminum Corporation Ltd. (NALCO), for their Phase II expansion project at Alumina Refinery, Damanjodi, Orissa.

The civil and structural contract involves PCC & RCC works for sub structure / super structure in substation / control station including structural steel fabrication and erection work for tankages, piperack, lifts, and cable trays etc. of this project.

The project is schedule to complete within a period of six months.


Bhupinder Singh elected leader of Opposition in Orrissa

Bhupinder Singh elected leader of Opposition in Orrissa In a crucial move, Bhupinder Singh, a senior Congress leader and MLA from Narla Assembly constituency, Orissa was elected as Leader of Opposition on Sunday. Kotpad Basudev Majhi had proposed the name of Mr. Singh for this post.

Senior legislators, Bissam Cuttack and Dambarudhar Ulaka supported the proposal. Infact, earlier both of them were the front-runners for this post.

Prior to the new assembly, J. B. Patanaik was laden with this responsibility.


Sugarcane cultivation in Orissa on a decline

Sugarcane cultivation in Orissa on a declineNabarangapur (Orissa), June 6 : Farmers in Nabarangapur of Orissa are slowly giving up sugarcane cultivation due to pest problem, construction of dam on Indravati River and lack of marketing facilities.

"We have been doing sugarcane farming for years. But pests have destroyed the crop. And we don''t even have a sugarcane factory here, and moreover because of the pests, the farming is not like what it was," said Raghunath Pujari, a farmer.


Orissa to form state industrial security force

Orissa on the top in terms of Communal Violence in the countryBhubaneshwar, June 7 : The Orissa government has started the process of forming a State Industrial Security Force of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) to combat the threat to different mining and industrial establishments in the state.



"An official of the rank of inspector general of police will be commandant of the proposed SISF," said the state''s Director General of Police, Manmohan Praharaj.



Maoists blow up police station in Orissa

Maoists blow up police station in OrissaBhubaneshwar, June 8 : About 100 Maoists, including women, have triggered explosions at the Baipariguda police station in Orissa's Koraput district.

According to police, the attack took place late on Sunday night when the Maoists triggered three explosions in Baipariguda police station premises.

However, they did not attack any police personnel. But they forced five police personnel to surrender at gunpoint.

Besides blasting the building, they set ablaze two jeeps and three motor-cycles. They also smashed a transmitter to break communication links with the police station.


BHEL secures order worth Rs 4015 crore from Hindalco

BHEL secures order worth Rs 4015 crore from HindalcoIndian state-run engineering firm Bharat Heavy Electrical Ltd (BHEL) has secured an order worth Rs 4015 crore from Hindalco.

The order is for the supply of power generation equipment for Hindalco's upcoming captive power plant (6x150MW) at Sambalpur district of Orissa.

Earlier this month, Public-Sector owned BHEL has bagged an order worth Rs 375-crore from Oman for supplying as well as erection of two gas turbine generating units of 126 mw each.

At 2:35 pm, the shares of BHEL were trading at Rs 2220, down 2% compared to previous close of Rs 2271.


Orissa tribes learn to construct hydroelectric plant

Orissa tribes learn to construct hydroelectric plantKoraput (Orissa), June 13 : A self-help group is training the tribes in Orissa to construct and operate electricity plant.

The villagers of Bodomonjari in Koraput district have long lived in darkness, but now they have built up a hydroelectric power station with the support of a self-help group called ''All India Backward class village development organisation.''

They even have taken the management of the project into their hands.


Self-help group trains Orissa tribals to set up, run power plant

Bodomonjari (Orissa), June 14 :A self help group is training tribals in Orissa''s Koraput District to build and operate a power plant.

Residents of Bodomonjari village in the district have been used to living in darkness, but now thanks to the help and support of a self-help group called ''All India Backward Class Village Development Organisation'', light is being brought into their lives through an indigenously created hydro-electric power plant.


Hindustan Dorr bags Rs 127-crore order from HPCL

Hindustan Dorr bags Rs 127-crore order from HPCLHindustan Dorr Oliver (HDO), a leading engineering firm, has announced that it has bagged a prestigious order worth Rs 127 crore from Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) for construction-related works.     

As per the order terms, the company will execute construction of plant on high-efficiency reverse osmosis technology, a filtration process that is often used for water.

The sources close to the company said that this turnkey basis project will be finalized within 13 months.


Omaxe subsidiary picks three orders worth Rs 128.34 crore

Omaxe subsidiary picks three orders worth Rs 128.34 croreOmaxe Ltd has notified that Omaxe Infrastructure & Construction Pvt. Ltd, a 100% subsidiary of the Company has secured three construction contracts worth Rs 128.34 crore from U P Projects Corporation Ltd (a UP Government Undertaking).

The company has bagged the first contract worth Rs 63 crore for renovation / face lifting of ESI Hospital, Bhubaneswar.

Further, it secured the second contract for renovation / face Lifting of ESI Hospital, Choudwar, Cuttack at an estimated cost Rs 59.30 crore.


Nine orissa cops killed in landmine explossion

Nine orissa cops killed in landmine explossionBhubaneshwar June18 : In a landmine blast triggered by the Maoists, nine police men of the orissa special strike force (OSSF) were killed in Jogi Pallur in Koraput district.

According to Orissa Director General of Police Manmohan Praharaj, the jeep in which the Orrissa Special Strike Force (OSSF) were traveling to Maoist affected Narayanptna to Laxmipur, was blown up using remote control detonators.

The CRPF personnel who rushed to the spot after the incidents also came under fire from the Maoists. (ANI)


Two Maoists killed in Orissa

Two Maoists killed in OrissaKolkata June 22 : The 48 hour shut down called by the CPI (Maoist) turned violent as the ultras triggered a land mine attack on security forces in Jharkhand and two Maoists were killed in Orissa. Two Naxals were killed in a stiff gun battle with Special Operation Group (SOG) in Malkangiri district of Orissa. According to District Police Chief Satyabrat Bhoi the gun battle took place when the group was conducting a combing operation.


Brisk business anticipated ahead of Puri Jagannath Yatra

Brisk business anticipated ahead of Puri Jagannath YatraPuri, June 23 : Ahead of the world famous Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra or, chariot festival, which witnesses convergence of innumerous devotees from all around, local shopkeepers here anticipate a brisk business.

Shop owners and locals anticipate good profits during the annual chariot festival as they expect huge turnover of tourists this year as well.

Besides local shopkeepers, hoteliers also fetch some good earnings during the festival.


Orissa Government to strengthen tribals land rights

Orissa Government to strengthen tribals land rightsBhubaneshwar June 24 : The Orissa government has decided to bring amendments to Orissa Scheduled Tribe and Traditional Dwellers Act, 2006, to pave way for tribals to continue in the land occupied by them.

The Government has so far identified about 20,000 tribals who are traditional forest dwellers but hold no land rights. This announcement came after the Chief Minister Navin Patnaik''s visit to the areas of the trouble hit Narayanpatna in Korapat district.


Areva T&D bags order worth Rs 1200 crore from Jindal Steel & Power

Areva T&D bags order worth Rs 1200 crore from Jindal Steel & PowerAreva T&D India has received prestigious orders from Jindal Steel & Power Limited (JSPL) for 400/220 kV substation and power transformers, for their Green Field Integrated Steel Project at Angul (Orissa).

The Power Transformers orders is for design, manufacturing, supply at site, erection, testing & commissioning of 2x315 MVA, 400/200kV interconnecting Transformers and
6x120 MVA, 220/34.5 kV Power Transformers.


Navin Patnaik seeks Central support to check Maoists in Orissa

Navin Patnaik seeks Central support to check Maoists in OrissaBhubaneswar, June 26 : Orissa Chief Minister Navin Patnaik has said that he will discuss with Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram about the state''s needs to check Maoists activities.

Talking to reporters here on Thursday, Patnaik said, "We are going to have detailed discussion on matters relating to Naxalism in our state and other related subjects."

He said that the state would place the many demands that we require very urgently."


Chidambaram visits Kandhamal victims in relief camps

Chidambaram visits Kandhamal victims in relief campsPhulbani (Orissa), June 26 : Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Friday visited Kandhamal riots victims in the Government run relief camps here.

Chidambaram, who is taking stock of the law and order situation in Orissa, today visited the Government run relief camps in Mandaika, Rahikola, Tinigia and Tikabali in Kandhamal district.

He assured the riot victims that action would be taken against the culprits involved. Chidambaram asked them to think of starting their life afresh.


Monsoon reaches Orissa’s southern coast

Monsoon reaches Orissa’s southern coastBhubaneshwar, June 26 : People of Orissa can take a sigh of relief as the much-awaited monsoon touched its southern coast, and will cover entire state in a day or two, say officials.

"Monsoon has delayed, actually because earlier its ONSET was on 25th May. Now monsoon has revived and today it has covered some parts of south Orissa and conditions are also favourable for covering remaining parts of Orissa during next two-three days," said S. C. Sahoo, director, Bhubaneswar meteorological centre.

Meanwhile, people in Bhubaneshwar enjoyed pre-monsoon showers.


Sand artist Patnaik pays tribute to ''King of Pop'' Michael Jackson

Sand artist Patnaik pays tribute to ''King of Pop'' Michael JacksonPuri, June 27 : Noted sand artist Sudarshan Patnaik immortalised ''King of Pop'' Michael Jackson in sand on the scenic beaches of Puri, Orissa.

As tribute to the legendary singer, who had moon walked his way into the hearts of his fans, Patnaik created a four-feet high sand sculpture.


Gay Activists Hold Parades In Bhubaneswar

gays and lesbiansOver 150 gays and lesbians form different parts of Orissa on Sunday came out of closet and participated in a rally to press for their rights.

The rally named Rainbow Pride Walk was started by Solidarity and Action against the HIV Infection in India (Saathi) with support of different NGOs.

The members of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender) from different district of the state participated in this rally.


Koraput Tribals launch sanitation drive

Koraput (Orissa), July 4 (ANI): Tribals in Orissa's Koraput District have launched a sanitation drive to keep their villages clean and hygienic.

''Sanjog'', a government run programme, was organised jointly by Panchayat Raj department, women and child department, health department and education department at the block level.

Villagers themselves decided to take up the cause of maintaining cleanliness and building toilets.


Kandhmal riot accused BJP leader takes oath

Kandhmal riot accused BJP leader takes oathBhubaneswar, July 6 : BJP leader Manoj Pradhan, who is an accused in Orissa’s Kandhmal riots, took oath on Monday as member of the legislative assembly.

Pradhan, who is currently out on bail, fought the elections from a jail and won from G Udayagiri constituency with a margin of nearly 24,000 votes.

Pradhan was arrested and jailed in October on charges of murder, arson, rioting and spreading communal hatred.

Orissa High Court granted Pradhan 15-day bail to allow him to take oath.


Plan panel for extending projects to KBK districts

Plan panel for extending projects to KBK districtsThe planning commission is working out plans for the overall development of KBK (Kalahandi-Bolangir-Koraput) districts of Orissa, urging union government to sanction special extended projects worth Rs 4,550 crore for these districts.

Planning Commission member, Abhijit Sen, in a review meeting of commission, said the prospective plan will be implemented from 2009-10 to 2016-17, giving a push to the overall development of the area.


Heavy rains, flash floods kill 15 people in Orissa

Heavy rains, flash floods kill 15 people in OrissaKalahandi (Orissa), July 15 : Heavy rains and flash floods have killed 15 people in Orissa state, authorities said on Wednesday.

People were seen wading through submerged roads in villages and towns in knee-deep water in Kalahandi district in the state, which received 260 millimetres of rain in the past 24 hours.

"Fifteen deaths have been reported by various Collectors but out of the total fifteen, four dead bodies are yet to be found," said Surya Narayan Patro, State minister for Revenue and Disaster management.


Orissa flood death toll rises to 26

Orissa flood death toll rises to 26Bhubaneshwar, July 16 : Water levels in most rivers in Orissa are flowing above the danger mark following heavy rains across the State.

Water levels in major rivers, including Mahanadi, Brahmani, Baitarani, Subarnarekha, Bansadhara and Rushikulya continue to rise due to a low pressure formed over the Bay of Bengal.

So far, flash floods have claimed 26 lives.

Among the worst hit are districts are Koraput, Malkangiri, Rayagada and Ganjam.


Heavy rains cause flash floods in Orissa

Heavy rains cause flash floods in OrissaBhubaneswar, July 21 : With all major rivers nearing their danger marks due to heavy rains, flash floods have affected 10 districts of Orissa.

The state government has sounded an alert and announced a two-day holiday for schools in Balasore district.

According to the Meteorological office, water levels in the Mahanadi, Devi, Baitarani, Brahmani, Subarnarekha, Tel, Hati, Bansadhara and Rushikulya rivers were near
their danger marks at several places.


Stray snake disrupts Orissa Assembly proceedings

Stray snake disrupts Orissa Assembly proceedingsBhubaneshwar, July 23 : A stray snake brought the State Assembly to a standstill for several hours in Orissa on Thursday.

A cleaner spotted the intruder, believed to be a king cobra, while sweeping in the morning and called the Assembly''s watchman.

Speaker Pradip Kumar Amat adjourned the House as security personnel, wildlife officials and a member of a snake help line searched unsuccessfully for the creature with the help of a sniffer dog.


Orissa tribals block UK''s Vedanta Group''s mining plans

Orissa tribals block UK''s Vedanta Group''s mining plansLondon, July 24 : Repeated protests by tribal people in Orissa, India, have blocked the mining plans of one of Britain’s biggest companies, leading to a costly delay.

Anil Agarwal, billionaire chairman (and majority owner) of Vedanta Resources, announced in January that its massive bauxite mine in the Niyamgiri Hills would start ‘in a month or two’, but men and women of the Dongria Kondh tribe, furious at the planned destruction of their mountain top, have blocked roads and refused to allow the company’s diggers to pass.


Orissa Government determined to root out Naxalism

Orissa Government determined to root out NaxalismBhubaneshwar, July 27 : The Government of Orissa has appointed 2100 Special Police officers and raised four battalions of the India Reserve Police to fight Maoists in the State.

The decision has been taken by the State following the killing of 74 security personnel and 22 civilians in 56 incidents across the State in 2008. That was in comparison to the killings of 15 security personnel and two civilians in 52 incidents in 2007, a White Paper released by the Orissa Government indicated.


Bureaucrat, four family members found dead in their Orissa house

Bureaucrat, four family members found dead in their Orissa houseBargarh (Orissa), July 31 : A senior Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the Orissa cadre and four of his family members were found dead with bullet injuries while his son is fighting for life after being critically injured in their house here early on Friday.

Superintendent of Police Ashok Biswal said, the bodies of Jagadananda Panda, 50, now on Central deputation, his wife, father and two of his sisters were found with bullet injuries in their house in Deogaon, about six kilometres from the Bargarh District headquarters.


Orissa tribesmen re-distribute land seized from non-tribals

Bandhugaon (Orissa), Aug 2 : In an attempt to exercise their rights, tribals in Orissa are on a land acquiring spree, albeit peacefully.

After creating unrest, instigated allegedly by the Maoists, earlier in Bandhugaon and Narayanpatna regions of the state, the tribals in Bandhugaon, have now decided to shed violence and adopt peaceful means to get lands from the non-tribals.

After a meeting held between both the groups, the tribals asked the non-tribal communities to ''distribute'' their lands to them in a peaceful manner.


MCL to set up medical college in Angul district, Orissa

MCL to set up medical college in Angul district, OrissaMahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL) has announced the setting up of a 500-bed medical college and hospital at Talcher in Angul district; and the upgrading of the existing Nehru Satabdi Hospital to a super specialty hospital. Necessary approval for these projects has already been received from the state government, facing acute shortage of doctors in Orissa.


BHEL wins order worth Rs 2600 crore

BHEL wins order worth Rs 2600 crore Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. (BHEL), the state-run power equipment maker, has bagged a Rs. 2,600-crore order from Jindal India Thermal Power Ltd.

The company received the order for Jindal India's 1,200 MW (2 x 600 MW) greenfield power project located at Derang in the Angul district of Orissa.


No coal royalty revision: Jaiswal

naveen patnaikIn a setback to Orissa government demanding revision of coal royalty, the Center has refused to hike coal royalty at this point of time. However, Orissa Chief Minster, Naveen Patnaik, said that the state would approach the Union Finance Commission about the issue.

Clearing the government's stance, Union Minister of state for Coal, Mr. Sriprakash Jaiswal said: "There is no meaning of revision. Whatever coal royalty is being given is more than sufficient. We are worried about how production of coal could go up. We want to double the production. Accordingly, the royalty would also increase (pro rata)."


Earthquake shocks people in Orissa and Andaman Island

MeteorologicalAn earthquake of 7.8 magnitude on the Richter scale created panic in the coastal regions of Orissa and some parts of Andaman Island at around 1.30 in the Tuesday morning. The earthquake has been recorded by the Indian Meteorological Department.

Meanwhile, a Tsunami alert was instantly alarmed by the IMD, but the same was withdrawn after few hours.

In a statement given by the Indian Meteorological Department, Director S C Sahu said that the earthquake was in the Andaman Sea and occurred at the depth of around 0.33 km. The earthquake took place at around 265 km north of Port Blair.


As VHP leader’s death anniversary looms, Kandhamal is engulfed with security blanket

As VHP leader’s death anniversary looms, Kandhamal is engulfed with security blanketPhulbani, Aug 13 : Tight security arrangements have been made in the Orissa's Kandhamal District ahead of the first death anniversary of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Laxmanand Saraswati.

Laxmananda and four others were killed by Maoists on last year, sparking of a widespread communal violence in parts of Orissa.

The Sangh Parivar has also decided to observe the anniversary as ''Sacrifice Day''.


Sand artist creates sculpture on swine flu awareness in Puri

 Sand artist creates sculpture on swine flu awareness in PuriPuri (Orissa), Aug 15(ANI): Keen to spread awareness about the dangers of swine flu internationally acclaimed sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik created a sand culture on Orissa’a Puri beach.

Patnaik has created a five foot high face of a woman wearing a masks with a ‘swine flu alert’ written on it surrounded by four pigs on each side.

About seven tonnes of sand was used to make the sculpture.


CM moved by Prince Dance group show, govt to set up institute

CM moved by Prince Dance group show, govt to set up instituteMoved by the outstanding feat of a dance group from Orissa at a competition organized by a TV channel, chief minister Naveen Patnaik announced to set up an institute to sharpen the talent of young performers in the state.

It is learnt that the state government would provide four acres of land near Berhampur, and provide a sum of Rs 1 crore for the setting up of the institute.

A release from the CMO said that the culture department has been directed to start working on this.


Rungta Mines to setup 1 million-tonne cement plant in Orissa

Rungta Mines to setup 1 million-tonne cement plant in Orissa Rungta Mines (RML), the flagship company of S R Rungta group, has decided to set up a one-million-tonne cement plant in Orissa with an investment of around Rs 600 crore.

The move would diversify the group's business beyond mining and steel production into cement production.

Presently, the company is in talks with the state government for allocation of limestone reserves to execute the cement project. The proposed plant will be funded through a mix of debt and internal accruals.


BHEL secures order worth Rs 2630 crore from Monnet Ispat

BHEL secures order worth Rs 2630 crore from Monnet Ispat State-run power and engineering equipment firm BHEL has secured an order worth Rs 2630 crore from Monnet Ispat and Energy Group for supplying of thermal power project machinery.

Under the deal, the company would supply Boiler Turbine Generator to Monnet Ispat for an upcoming thermal power project in Orissa.


Orissa villagers living a fearful life after Maoist attack

Orissa villagers living a fearful life after Maoist attackTamra (Orissa), Aug 23 : Residents of Tamra village in Orissa’s Sundergarh district are living a frightened life since the Maoist activists blew up the Forest Department’s property recently.

A 30-member group of the Maoist activists on Thursday blew up the housing buildings and other infrastructures belonging to state forest department at Tamra in Bonai sub division.

The Maoists act has created fear in the entire village and nearby areas.


Sand sculpture of Ganesha spreads awareness on global warming in Puri

Sand sculpture of Ganesha spreads awareness on global warming in PuriPuri, Aug. 23 : On the occasion of Ganesha Chaturthi and the 10-day festivities ahead, noted sand artist Sudarshan Patnaik has made an image at the Puri beach to evolve devotion and spread public awareness on global warming.

Patnaik has sculpted a 40 feet-long Ganesha and a tree on His palm alongside a message ''''Reduce Global Warming'''' written next to the idol.

To spread general awareness and make this sand image of Lord Ganesha, Patnaik and his team have used around 70 tonnes of sand.


Orissa celebrates harvest festival

Orissa celebrates harvest festivalDeogaon (Orissa), Aug 24 : People in Orissa on Monday offered the first crop of the season to their presiding deities in celebration of the harvest festival of ''Nuakhai''.

Nuakhai is a major festival observed by the masses over the entire western part of Orissa to welcome the new rice-paddy of the season.

Although the threat of drought looms large in various parts of the state, yet ''Nuakhai'' was celebrated by the farmers of Deogaon with the hope of receiving a good crop next year.


Maoists blow up railway station in Orissa

Maoists blow up railway station in OrissaSundargarh (Orissa), Aug 25 : Maoists blew up a railway station and abducted three railway employees in Orissa''s Sundargarh district on Tuesday morning.

According to the police, about 20 left-wing ultras blew up Roxy railway station, located in a remote area under K Bolang police station and triggered the explosion after asking the employees to move out.

The rebels also set ablaze about 15 heavy vehicles parked near the railway station.

The station is used for transporting iron ore to the Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP).


Kaminey in trouble for hurting sentiments of Jagannath devotees

Kaminey in trouble for hurting sentiments of Jagannath devoteesRecent movie ‘Kaminey’ starring Shahid Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra may have won hearts of people, and got rewarding comments from various actors and filmmakers in Bollywood, but it has unconsciously hurt the religious sentiments.

Devotees of Lord Jagannath have revolted against the film for “derogatory reference” to Orissa’s reigning deity, Lord Jagannath. The priests of the world-famous Jagannath temple have burned posters of the film.


Tribals lament lack of adequate medical facilities in Orissa

Tribals lament lack of adequate medical facilities in OrissaDasmantpur (Orissa), Aug 27: Tribals living in Orissa's Dasmantpur village are deprived of basic amenities and health facilities leading to several health hazards.

Locals say that the Central Government had made development plans for education, health and communication, but they are yet to see development in this regard.

The plight of the residents of the village has become manifold with the onset of monsoon, as tribals are facing the wrath of epidemics like cholera and diarrhoea.


Govt. plans 2,500 model schools on PPP model in two years: Sibal

Govt. plans 2,500 model schools on PPP model in two years: SibalKoraput (Orissa) , Aug. 29 : Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Kapil Sibal on Saturday said the Government was planning to set up over 2,500 model and 200 central schools on public-private- partnership (PPP) basis in the country in next two years


Migratory birds in arrive Orissa

Migratory birds in arrive OrissaBaijal Sagar (Orissa), Aug 31 : The migratory birds coming into the country have found a safe haven in Orissa’s Baijal Sagar village, which surrounded by lush green forests provide an ideal habitat for these birds.

The villagers act as ideal hosts to the visiting birds, who arrive during the monsoon season, as they protect and provide a safe shelter to these winged beauties.


Orissa's Kalahandi district hit by diarrhoea

Orissa's Kalahandi district hit by diarrhoeaThese days Orissa's Kalahandi district is in grip of diarrhoea. According to official sources, it has taken 26 lives within a month. Nearly 50 villages under two blocks of Kalahandi district have been affected by this water-borne disease.

A central team will soon visit the affected areas in Bhawanipatna and Lanjigarh blocks to assess the situation. It will also held meetings with senior district administration officers and doctors. The team will be led by Uma Chawla, joint director of National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD).


Malaria spreads in Orissa’s Gajapati district

Malaria spreads in Orissa’s Gajapati districtGajapati (Orissa), Sep 4 : Malaria scare is on an all time high in Orissa’s Gajapati district as at least 15 tribals have succumbed to the deadly disease in the past one-month and around 300 people are being treated at ill-equipped primary health care centres.

Being one of the tribal dominated and poverty stricken districts of the state, Gajapati is deprived of basic amenities and medical facilities, following which the region has become a breeding ground for mosquitoes and the situation is further complicated by the unhygienic life-style of many poor families.


Violence erupts between Orissa’s tribal groups

Violence erupts between Orissa’s tribal groupsBhubneshwar, Sep. 7 : Violence has rocked Orissa’s Narayanpatna region following a clash between the two factions of the Maoist backed tribal outfit Chasi Muliya Adivasi Sangh (CMAS).

Involved in forcible acquisition of lands from non-tribal farmers for past three months the outfit is now ridden with violent factionalism, one belonging to Bandhugaon and other to Naraynapatna.

The activists of the Bandhugaon unit set at least a dozen tribal houses afire, accusing the owners of being supporters of the Narayanpatna unit.


KNR Construction secures an order worth Rs 231 crore

KNR Construction secures an order worth Rs 231 croreHyderabad-based KNR Construction, an infrastructure project development company, has secured an order worth of Rs 231 crore from National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) for completion of balance work of widening to 4/6 lanes and strengthening of existing 2-lanes carriageway of NH-5 in the State of Orissa.

Under the contract, the company executes road transportation engineering projects including construction and maintenance of roads, highways, flyovers and bridges, irrigation, water supply and urban water infrastructure management.


Maoists blow up rail track in Orissa

Maoists blow up rail track in OrissaRourkela, Sep 10 : The Maoists blew up a railway track and at least four government buildings in Orissa''s Sundargarh district today.

According to police sources, the rebels blasted railway tracks at around seven places between Bimlagarh and Patangi.

They also blew up an abandoned police station building at Kalta, another building where a CRPF camp was functioning earlier, a community centre and office building of CITU.

Train services between Rourkela and Barsuan have been completely disrupted due to the blasts. There was no report about any casualty in the attacks.


Orissa’s sand sculptor pays tribute to 9/11 victims

Puri-beach-OrissaPuri Beach (Orissa): Sudarsan Pattnaik, an internationally acclaimed sand artist, sculpted a gigantic model of the new United States Tower of Freedom in sand here on Friday.

Pattnaik’s artistic tribute was created on the eighth anniversary of the attack.

Pattnaik created a seven feet high replica of the twin towers of the World Trade Centre with the flag of United States using five tonnes of sand in about seven hours.

The sculpture carried the message of ‘Power of Freedom’ and condemned terrorism.


Orrisa tribals celebrate ''Osaha Baliyatra'' for better crop

Orrisa tribals celebrate ''Osaha Baliyatra'' for better cropBhubaneswar, Sep. 21 : Kondh tribals in Orissa's Koraput district are celebrating their annual nine-day long festival ''Osaha Baliyatra'' for a good yield of crops in the upcoming season.

The tribals are nature worshippers and believe that ''Dharani'', the earth goddess is omnipotent and highest of all deities.

During the festival the tribals pray for a good harvest, and perform various rituals.


Women fall sick in 3 Indian states after using mehendi

IndiaIn a shocking development, over a dozen women in three states of the country fell ill after applying mehendi on their hands on the occasion of Eid.

It is reported that the women in Bihar, Orissa and West Bengal developed rashes on the skin after applying mehendi.

In West Bengal, 9 women were admitted to Burdwan medical college, while two were admitted in Bankura and four in Malda.

Over hundred people have been affected in the state.


Experts rushed to look into death of 8 people in Orissa’s village

OrissaAs per the directions of Orissa government, a four-member expert team from the MKCG Medical College and Hospital has been rushed to Gudrikia village of Kandhamal district to find out the exact reason of the death of eight persons in that locality in two days.

Giving this information to the media persons, Sonamali Bag (Principal, MKCG Medical College) said: “The four-member team of the medical college, consisting of experts from departments likes medicine, community medicine, microbiology and pediatric rushed to the village this morning to study the cause of the sudden death of the tribal persons.”


Kandhamal riots: Fast Track sentences 6 for 3-yr RI

orissaThe fast-track court in Kandhamal on Tuesday sentenced six persons to three years rigorous imprisonment and slapped a fine of Rs 4,000 each in a case relating to the communal riot in the district last year.

Pronouncing the judgement, public prosecutor P. K. Patra said: “Six persons have been awarded rigorous punishment and Rs 4,000 fine.”

However, a fast track court at Phulbani acquitted five other accused for lack of evidence.

The accused were booked for burning houses of Christians at Mundasahi village under Phiringia police station area on January 9, 2008.


Micro financing a boon for women weavers in Orissa

Micro financing a boon for women weavers in OrissaNayagarh (Orissa), Sep 23 : Micro financing by a voluntary organisation, ''Adhikar'', is helping women weavers in Golabai village in Orissa’s Nayagarh district to become self-reliant and weave their own destiny away from the clutches of moneylenders.

Earlier, these women weavers had to take loans from the moneylenders to buy raw material, and they also used to work on a daily wage basis.


2 more succumbs to ‘Unknown disease’ in Kandhamal’s tribal belt

2 more succumbs to ‘Unknown disease’ in Kandhamal’s tribal beltAn unknown disease turned more deadly on Wednesday as two more persons lost their life in Gudrika village of Kandhamal district in the state of Orissa, taking the death toll to 11.

Confirming the news, Jatin Patnaik (Chief District Medical Officer, Kandhamal) said: "Two people died at MKCG Medical College and Hospital in Berhampur this morning. Both were adults."

The victims were admitted initially at Daringbadi hospital.


Shahrukh Khan funds solar electricity projects for seven villages in Orissa

Shahrukh Khan funds solar electricity projects for seven villages in OrissaOkilapala (Orissa), Sep 24 : Bollywood actor Shahrukh Khan is being hailed as a hero in the villages of Orissa after he helped light up thousands of houses across seven villages by funding a solar electricity project.

Shahrukh funded rural electrification project in Ahriajpur, Banhipal, Okilapala, Palachua, Rangani, Denlasahi and Gupti villages, which uses solar energy that was implemented by The Energy and Research Institute (TERI).


7-feet high sand sculpture in Orissa highlights problem of global warming

7-feet high sand sculpture in Orissa highlights problem of global warmingPuri, Sep 24 : World-renowned sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik has sculpted a 7-feet high sand sculpture of goddess Durga and a burning globe on the Puri beach to draw attention to global warming.

Pattnaik used 10 tonnes of sand to create the sculpture, which took him around five hours to complete.

In his creation, Pattnaik has highlighted the problem of global warming by portraying a burning globe behind the face of the goddess wearing green leaves as ornaments.


I'll try to bring more kids to children film fest: Nandita Das

Nandita-DasBhubaneswar, Sep 30 : Actress Nandita Das, the newly appointed chairperson of the Children's Film Society of India (CFSI), promises to bring maximum number of kids to the children film festival, starting Nov 14, despite the fact that kids are hooked to reality shows.

"My top priority at this moment is to attract large number of children from different regions and classes to the children's film festival," Nandita Das told reporters here while speaking on the sidelines of the programme "Joy of Giving".

The six-day Golden Elephant International Children's Film Festival of India will be held in Hyderabad.


Gandhi’s development model at work in Orissa village

MahatmaA telecom mobile tower stands next to a Mahatma Gandhi statue. This is an Orissa village’s tribute to the father of the nation.

Living the Gandhian dream of Gram swaraj (village republic), Panimora’s residents have embraced technology and are more developed than most villages in Orissa’s Bargarh district, 400 km west of Bhubaneswar.

No Orissa village has produced as many freedom fighters (32) as Panimora has.

Gandhi’s photographs adorn houses. Many residents sing the Ramdhun as they spin cotton thread on charkhas (Gandhian spinning wheels).


Strike by bus operators hits passengers in Orissa

Strike by bus operators hits passengers in OrissaBhubaneswar, Oct 2 : Private buses in Orissa kept off the roads for the second day Friday to protest a hike in toll fee, leaving thousands of passengers stranded.

Bus services were badly hit, especially in coastal districts as private buses kept off the National Highway 5 and 5A.

The private bus owners went on strike Thursday protesting the 'exorbitant' hike in toll fee collected along the national highways.


Orissa police on high vigil to prevent Maoists sneaking in

Orissa police on high vigil to prevent Maoists sneaking inMalangiri (Orissa), Oct 2 : Orissa police have beefed up security to prevent Maoists sneaking into the State, following combing operations being carried out in neighbouring States.

According to senior officials, high vigilance is being maintained in the wake of ongoing operations in neighbouring areas of Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh.

The security forces there have intensified patrolling in the border area including Malkangiri district, which is only 40 kms away from the area where operation Green Hunt is being conducted.


Incessant rain threatens floods in Orissa

Incessant rain threatens floods in Orissa  Bhubaneswar, Oct 2 : The threat of floods loomed over several districts of Orissa Friday as heavy rain continued to lash the state for the fourth day due to a cyclonic disturbance in the Bay of Bengal.

Coastal and northern Orissa received maximum rainfall since Thursday, leading to a rise in the water level in several major rivers.

Rescue boats have been rushed to Balasore district where 35,000 people have been affected, officials said.

The water level of rivers Budhabalanga, Baitarani and Brahmani is inching towards the danger mark at a few places.


Pearls Broadcasting to invest up to Rs 40 crore for expansion

Pearls Broadcasting to invest up to Rs 40 crore for expansionPearls Broadcasting Corporation (PBCL), a new player in the Indian media industry, has announced that it envisages to make an investment between Rs 30-40 crore in 2009 with the aim to spread out its business in the eastern and southern regions.

PBCL, which introduced its Hindi news channel known as P7 this March in New Delhi, has already invested around Rs 40 crore into its P7 News channel.


Mock marriage held for good husbands in Orissa

Shampur (Orissa), Oct 3: A mock marriage ceremony meant for seeking good matrimonial alliance was held here on Saturday on the occasion of ''Kumari Poornima'', an ancient custom of Orissa.

Two underage girls performed bride and groom in the mock wedding ceremony in Shampur village.

Village’s unmarried girls assembled on this occasion to witness the mock marriage as a 10-year-old tied nuptial knot with a seven-year-old here.

The objective of the ceremony is to seek blessings of God for good husbands for all village girls of marriageable age.


Orissa HC judges want 'corrupt' colleague out

OrissaAn additional judge of the Orissa High Court has been recommended for removal for rigging a selection test for subordinate judges, according to documents seen by Hindustan Times.

The judge, to be confirmed as a full-fledged judge next January, had “wrongly increased the marks of two candidates”, says a letter written by the high court to Chief Justice of India K. G. Balakrishnan and the Union law ministry.

Citing an inquiry by Orissa high court’s acting chief justice I. M. Quddusi, the letter recommends “suitable action” and “reconsideration of the decision to appoint him as a judge”.


Expert team to verify fresh spillage from sunken ship

Expert team to verify fresh spillage from sunken shipBhubaneswar, Oct 5 : Orissa will Tuesday send a three member expert team to verify media reports about fresh spillage from a ship that had sunk off the Paradip coast last month, officials said Monday.

"We have received reports from the media. We are verifying them. A three member team will go there Tuesday to verify the reports. We have also instructed the port authorities to plug the spillage," said D. K. Behera, senior scientist of the state pollution control board.


Orissa imposes ban on strike of private bus owners

Orissa imposes ban on strike of private bus ownersBhubaneswar, Oct 5 : The Orissa government Monday decided to impose Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) against private bus owners who went on an indefinite strike from Sunday after the state refused to roll back the toll fee collected along the national highways.

"ESMA would be applied today (Monday) in particular against those bus owners who are on strike. The strike has inconvenienced millions of people of our state. This should not be allowed to continue as it has inconvenienced our people very badly," Chief Minister Naveen Pattnaik said.


Orissa cracks down on striking bus owners, 12 arrested

Orissa cracks down on striking bus owners, 12 arrestedBhubaneswar, Oct 6: The Orissa government Tuesday cracked down on the striking bus owners and arrested some of them under the stringent provisions of the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA), which the administration has invoked to deal with the situation.

"We have instructed district administrations to take action against striking bus owners. As per our information, six bus owners have been arrested in Mayurbhanj district, four in Bhubaneswar and two in Bhadrak district," state Transport Secretary Pradip Kumar Jena said.


Orissa directed to monitor oil spill off Paradip port

Orissa directed to monitor oil spill off Paradip portBhubaneswar, Oct 7 : The central government has directed Orissa to form a crisis group to monitor the pollution caused due to oil spilling off a sunken Mongolian ship near Paradip port, officials said Wednesday.

Biswajit Mohanty, member of the National Board for Wildlife (NBWL), said that the government has directed the state to ensure that the pollution does not pose danger to the rare Olive Ridley turtles, whose nesting place is near the accident site.


Senior Orissa BJP leader, ex-MP B.K. Deo is dead

Senior Orissa BJP leader, ex-MP B.K. Deo is dead Bhubaneswar, Oct 7 : Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and former Lok Sabha MP Bikram Keshari Deo died following cardiac arrest Wednesday in Orissa's Kalahandi district, his family said. He was 57.

Deo was a member of the state assembly for three consecutive terms from 1985 to 1995. He was also a member of the 12th, 13th and 14th Lok Sabhas.


Bus strike called off in Orissa

Bus strike called off in Orissa Bhubaneswar, Oct 7 : A bus owners' body in Orissa Wednesday called off their strike against hiked toll fees on national highways, an association official said.

"We have decided to call off our strike keeping in view of the inconvenience to the passengers all over the state, especially during festive season," Debasis Nayak, the spokesperson of All Orissa Bus Owners' Association, said.

However the association has decided to boycott National Highways 5 and 5A.


Boat with over 35 people capsises in Orissa

Boat with over 35 people capsises in OrissaBhubaneswar, Oct 7 : A boat carrying more than 35 people, including school students, capsised while crossing the Budha river at Champachhanda ghat in Orissa's Jajpur district Wednesday evening, officials said. Twenty-five people have been rescued so far.

"A boat has capsised in the Budha river at about 4.30 p. m. I heard the news and am rushing to the spot. There were some school children on the boat. Twenty-five people have been rescued so far," District Collector (Jajpur) Dhiren Das said.


Orissa seeks report from Delhi Police on Kobad Ghandy

Orissa seeks report from Delhi Police on Kobad Ghandy Bhubaneswar, Oct 9  Police in Orissa Friday said they had asked their counterparts in Delhi to give them a report on whether arrested Maoist leader Kobad Ghandy had any links with the state.

"We have asked Delhi Police to provide us with details on him (Kobad Ghandy) and if he has any links with Orissa," state Inspector General of Police (operations) Sanjeev Marik told IANS.


Cabinet nod for anti-Naxal plan

naxalIndia’s biggest armed offensive against Naxalites got a push on Thursday. The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) cleared the home ministry-driven coordinated offensive against Maoists that will see deployment of nearly 75,000 central security personnel.

The personnel are being trained alongside the army to fight the naxals and regain control of the so-called liberated zones across the dense jungles of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa and Maharashtra.

Indian Air Force (IAF) choppers will assist in movement of forces — for operations or rescue and evacuation — and have Garud commandos onboard in case of a Naxalite attack.


Orissa journalists to protest colleague's arrest

Orissa journalists to protest colleague's arrestBhubaneswar, Oct 10 - Journalists in Orissa are set to stage a protest outside the Raj Bhavan Monday against the arrest of a scribe last month on charges of sedition and assisting Maoists.

"The mediapersons will wear black badges and stage a demonstration in front of the Raj Bhavan here," Prasant Patnaik, a member of a delegation that met Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Friday night to register their protest, told IANS Saturday.


Nuclear capable Prithvi-II test fired successfully

Nuclear capable Prithvi-II test fired successfullyChandipur (Orissa), Oct 12 : Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) scientists on Monday successfully test fired the surface-to-surface short range ballistic missile ''Prithvi-II'' from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) here.

Prithvi-II, a highly sophisticated single stage liquid propelled missile, is equipped with inertial navigation system.

The missile, which is about nine metres in length and one metre in width can carry conventional as well as nuclear warheads and has a range of 350 kilometres.


India tests Prithvi-II nuclear capable missile

India tests Prithvi-II nuclear capable missileBhubaneswar, Oct 12 - India Monday test fired the nuclear capable surface to surface Prithvi-II missile twice from the Chandipur range in Orissa, defence sources said.

The surface to surface missiles were tested from the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur in Balasore district, about 230 km from state capital Bhubaneswar, at 10.30 a. m. and three minutes later at 10.33 a. m.

The missiles have a striking range of about 350 km, officials said.


After son's birth, father dumps daughters at railway station

After son's birth, father dumps daughters at railway stationBhubaneswar, Oct 12 - A rickshaw puller dumped his two daughters - aged three and one - at a railway station in Orissa after he fathered a son, police said Monday.

The two girls Mamuni and Chummuni were left to fend for themselves, but were recovered by railway police officials.


India successfully test fires two nuclear capable Prithvi-II missiles

India successfully test fires two nuclear capable Prithvi-II missilesChandipur (Orissa), Oct 12 : Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) scientists on Monday successfully test fired in quick succession two Prithvi-II surface-to-surface short range ballistic missiles, from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) here.

According to the DRDO sources, the indigenously developed missiles were test fired successfully at 10:28 am and 10: 33 am, from mobile launchers.

The tests were conducted as part of user trials by the army, and both the missiles had different target ranges, sources added.


Orissa zoo gears up for birth of chimpanzee

Orissa zoo gears up for birth of chimpanzeeBhubaneswar, Oct 12 - The officials at Orissa's Nandankanan zoo Monday said they have ensured a healthy environment for the chimpanzee who is expected to give birth to her baby early next month.

"We are providing special diets to the pregnant chimp. Our zoo doctors are monitoring her health from time to time," senior zoo official S. Mohapatra told IANS.

The zoo, located on the outskirts of the capital city Bhubaneswar, houses two female chimps - 19-year-old Pampeta and nine-year-old Purnima - and one male 20-year-old Julu.


Orissa journalists protest against colleague's arrest

Orissa journalists protest against colleague's arrestBhubaneswar, Oct 12 Over 100 journalists of Orissa Monday protested outside Raj Bhavan against the arrest of a scribe last month on charges of sedition and assisting Maoists.

Wearing black badges and holding placards, the journalists launched the silent protest for more than an hour against police action against Laxman Choudhury who continues to be in jail despite Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik's intervention.


Orissa BJP leaders held for manhandling official

Orissa BJP leaders held for manhandling officialBhubaneswar, Oct 13 - Two Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders in Orissa were arrested for allegedly blackening the face of a government official who submitted a false report on farmers' suicide to the state government, police said Tuesday.

Jayabrata Dey and Debashis Purohit were arrested in Sambalpur town, about 320 km from state capital Bhubaneswar, for allegedly blackening the face of Deputy Director of state Agriculture Department D. C. Pai and parading him on the streets Monday.


Three killed as train hits motorcycle in Orissa

Three killed as train hits motorcycle in OrissaBhubaneswar, Oct 13 : At least three people were killed when a passenger train hit their motorcycle in Orissa's Mayurbhanj district Tuesday afternoon, police said.

District Superintendent of Police Dayal Gangwar said the accident occurred when the Rupsa-Baripada passenger train hit the motorcycle at an unmanned crossing near Agria village, some 300 km from state capital Bhubaneswar. (IANS)


Orissa zoo gets a baby chimpanzee

Orissa zoo gets a baby chimpanzeeBhubaneswar, Oct 14 - Bringing cheers to conservationists, a chimpanzee Wednesday gave birth to a female at Nandankanan zoo in Orissa.

"Nine-year-old chimpanzee Purnima gave birth to a female today (Wednesday). The zoo staff spotted her baby during the routine check," Nandankanan zoo Deputy Director S. Mohapatra told IANS.

"Both the baby and mother are in good health," he said.

The zoo, located on the outskirts of Orissa capital Bhubaneswar, already houses two female chimps - 19-year-old Pampeta and nine-year-old Purnima - and one male 20-year-old Julu.


Jharkhand Mukti Morcha shuts down Orissa district

Jharkhand Mukti Morcha shuts down Orissa districtBhubaneswar, Oct 14 - Shops were closed and vehicles went off the road in Orissa's Mayurbhanj district Wednesday as Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) observed a 24-hour shutdown to protest an attack on its leader Tuesday, police said.

JMM activists marched on the streets and blocked roads at several places in the district, a senior police officer told IANS.

"Schools and college have been closed. Government offices have thin attendance," he said.


ITC inks deal with Orissa to make incense sticks

ITC inks deal with Orissa to make incense sticks Bhubaneswar, Oct 14 : Fast moving consumer goods major ITC Wednesday signed a deal with Orissa for manufacturing incense sticks in the state - a move that officials say will provide additional income to more than 3,000 rural women.

The agreement was signed by the chief executive of the state-run Orissa Rural Development and Marketing Society (ORMAS) B. N. Das, and ITC executive director V. M. Rajsekharan in the presence of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.


Orissa court questions officials on Andhra project

OrissaBhubaneswar, Oct 14 : The Orissa High court Wednesday issued notices to several key officials of the central government and the Andhra Pradesh and Orissa governments on a controversial mega irrigation project in Andhra Pradesh.

"The petition was filed by Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader and former Orissa legislator Laxman Munda. The court admitted the petition and issued the notice," Munda's lawyer Bibhu Prasad Tripathy told IANS.

The court asked the government officials to file their replies by Nov 9.


Probe ordered into attack on former Orissa MP

Probe ordered into attack on former Orissa MP Bhubaneswar, Oct 14 : The Orissa government has ordered a police Crime Branch probe into the attack on former MP Sudam Marandi that killed three security personnel though the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha leader escaped unhurt.

The three security men accompanying JMM Orissa unit president Sudam Marandi were killed when he was attacked Tuesday by suspected Maoist rebels near Bandam village, some 35 km from the district headquarters of Baripada.


Villagers protesting Mittal plant release officials

Villagers protesting Mittal plant release officials Bhubaneswar, Oct 15 : Ten state government officials held Wednesday by villagers, protesting a proposed steel plant by Arcelor Mittal in Orissa's Keonjhar district, were released Thursday, an official said.

"They were demanding re-location of the project. All the officials were released after I assured the villagers that no project will be allowed in their area without their consent," District Collector Debajani Chakrabarti told IANS.


Eleven suspected Maoists held in Orissa

Bhubaneswar, Oct 15 : Eleven suspected Maoists have been arrested in Malkangiri district of Orissa, police said Thursday.

They were nabbed during a combing operation in the forests of Jakhalkundi village in the district.

"We have arrested 11 people during an early morning combing operation. They were arrested during a joint combing operation by CRPF (central reserve police force) and SOG (special operations group) near Jakhalkundi village," Superintendent of Police Satyabrat Bhoi said.(IANS)


Over 50 people in Orissa suffer food poisoning

Bhubaneswar, Oct 17 More than 50 people, including women and children, fell sick after eating rice at a religious festival in a village in Orissa's Mayurbhanj district, an official said Saturday.

The people ate rice during a religious ritual at Tulsibani village Friday night, some 300 km from here.

"We have sent a team of doctors to treat the villagers," district medical officer K.C. Mohanty told IANS.


Man burnt to death in fire mishap in Orissa

Man burnt to death in fire mishap in OrissaBhubaneswar, Oct 18 - A 45-year-old man was burnt to death, nearly 100 others suffered burn injuries and about 50 houses were reduced to ashes in separate fire incidents during Diwali celebrations in Orissa, police said Sunday.

Prakash Biswal, a shopkeeper, was burnt to death in Betali village of Bhadrak district when a jar containing petrol caught fire after being hit by a burning fire cracker Saturday night, sub-divisional police officer S. C. Das told IANS.


Orissa zoo to celebrate tiger cubs' birthday

Bhubaneswar, Oct 19 : There is a birthday party Tuesday at Orissa's Nandankanan zoo and school children are invited. Officials at the zoo have ordered a special cake for the two tiger cubs who were born a year ago and a party has been arranged.

"We have invited children of various schools. We have also ordered a special birthday cake. Besides, we are going to provide special chicken diets to the cubs," zoo deputy director Shiva Narayan Mahapatra told IANS.

"The names of the cubs have also been finalised. They will be announced during the celebration. The cubs would be shown to the visitors for the first time along with their mother," he said.


US firm begins work to pump oil from sunken ship

US firm begins work to pump oil from sunken shipBhubaneswar, Oct 19 : Experts of a US firm assigned to pump out furnace oil from a ship that sank last month off Paradip harbour in Orissa began work Monday. Their task is expected to be completed in a month, a port official said.

"A team of experts of the US firm arrived here Sunday. They inspected the site and started preliminary work today (Monday)," port Deputy Chairman Biplav Kumar told IANS.


Cuttack gears up to host Sri lanka-India ODI

Cuttack gears up to host Sri lanka-India ODI Bhubaneswar, Oct 19 : Barabati Stadium in Cuttack is gearing up to host the day and night One-day International cricket match between India and Sri Lanka Dec 21.

It will be the 16th day-night international match to be played in Barabati, some 26 km from the state capital here and the Orissa Cricket Association (OCA) has already begun the preparations, OCA secretary Ashirbad Behera said Monday.

"We are increasing the sitting capacity from 35,000 to 45,000 so that more people can watch the upcoming match," Behera told IANS.


Movie producer arrested for links with chit fund scam

Movie producer arrested for links with chit fund scamBhubaneswar, Oct 20 : Naseer Khan, the producer of Hindi movie "Shadow", was arrested Tuesday in connection with a chit fund scam in Cuttack and later released on a personal bond, police said.

"He was arrested today from Cuttack. Later he was released on a personal bond of Rs. 25,000," said A. K. Roy, inspector general police, crime branch.


Nandankanan Zoo celebrates birthday of two tiger cubs

Nandankanan Zoo celebrates birthday of two tiger cubsBhubaneswar, Oct. 20 : The Nandankanan Zoo in Orissa on Tuesday celebrated the birthday of two tiger cubs.

The zoo was decorated and a cake was cut to celebrate the birthday of Payal and Khushi, the cubs born of a white tigress Kusum.

"Today both these cubs completed one-year. Till now they were living with their mother but today they were released for public display. Today we celebrated their birthday and called the school kids as well," said Sudarshan Panda, District Forest Officer (DFO).


Two Maoists arrested in Orissa

Two Maoists arrested in OrissaBhubaneswar, Oct 21 : Two Maoist guerrillas were Wednesday arrested in Orissa's Rayagada district, police said.

Narasimha Mambalik alias Shyam and Suresh Mambalik alias Subhas were arrested from Gudari village in Rayagada, about 390 km from state capital Bhubaneswar.

They had committed several crimes after joining a local Maoist outfit in 2004. "These included attack on a police post and triggering a blast in a liquor shop," Rayagada Superintendent of Police A. K. Singh told IANS.

Maoists are active in more than half of the state's 30 districts. (IANS)


Two Maoists arrested in Orissa during combing operations

Two Maoists arrested in Orissa during combing operationsRaygarh (Orissa), Oct. 21 : Police have arrested two Maoists, both in their 20s, during a combing operation being carried out in Halam Gaon of Orissa’s Rayagada district.

The arrested persons have been identified as Narasimha Mamulka and Subhash Mamulka. Both of them have five cases already registered against them for different crimes.


For nine years, he has been in the nude

For nine years, he has been in the nudeBhubaneswar, Oct 22 - Confined in a dark room by his family, a 37-year-old man in Orissa has been living in the nude since for nine long years.

According to his wife Laxmipriya, Baburam Behera has not stepped out of his house in Harichandanpur village in Balasore district, some 200 km from here, since June 2000.

"All on a sudden he started behaving abnormally. He turned violent and attacked people," his wife told IANS over telephone. "He lives in the nude all the time." (IANS)


Orissa swine flu patient dies in Delhi

Orissa swine flu patient dies in DelhiBhubaneswar, Oct 22 : A swine flu patient who was shifted from Orissa to the Apollo Hospital in New Delhi earlier this week died Thursday, a state health official said here.

A. K. Banwar was shifted to the Apollo Hospital Oct 18 after his condition deteriorated at Ispat General Hospital at Rourkela, some 515 km from here.

"Banwar died today (Thursday) in Delhi," Joint Director of health department Bikash Patnaik told IANS.

Orissa has one confirmed swine flu patient who is undergoing treatment at a private hospital here. (IANS)


Cannabis worth 110 million rupees destroyed in Orissa

Cannabis worth 110 million rupees destroyed in OrissaGajapati (Orissa), Oct. 22 : Excise and police in Orissa’s Maoist-affected Gajapati district have destroyed cannabis plants worth 110 million rupees.

Officials raided several villages in the district and destroyed nearly 11, 300 plants cultivated in the forest area.

"We have destroyed around 4, 500 hemp plants so far. We have not arrested anybody because it is a forest area and we are trying to find out the people behind this cultivation and as soon as we get to know, we will arrest them," said Ramesh Chandra Behera, Excise Superintendent.


Orissa tribals shun animal sacrifice to please Goddess Kali

 Orissa tribals shun animal sacrifice to please Goddess KaliKuchipalli (Orissa), Oct. 22: In a significant development, tribals of Kuchipali village in Orissa’s Bargarh District have shunned their old practice of animal sacrifice and instead opted to offer a mixture of puffed rice and jaggery a. k. a Jugar to the Hindu Goddess Kali.

The festival combines the principles of the past with the ethics of modern day life; thus doing away with the barbaric act of animal sacrifice.


Spanco Telesystems bags Orissa State Data Center Project

logo-spanco-fulMumbai-headquartered Spanco Telesystems & Solutions has secured the Orissa State Data Center (SDC) project, valued at Rs 30 crore.

The latest deal is the first SDC order in the country and is the part of the core infrastructure under the National eGovernance Program instituted by the Department of Information Technology.

Under the contract, the data centres will consolidate services, applications and infrastructure to deliver government-to-government, consumer and business services. The project will be implemented over a period of 4 months.


Aditya Birla Group inks MoU with Orissa Government

ABG.jpgThe Aditya Birla group, a Mumbai-based multinational conglomerate, today signed a MoU with Orissa government for setting up of a 10 MTPA capacity sea port on Build Own Operate (BOO) basis in Bhadrak district at an investment of Rs 1500 crore.

The port, which will be established at Chudamani in Bhadrak district, would have 3 three million tons per annum (MTPA) in the first phase. The port will be further expanded to 10 mtpa.

According to an official release, the port will have two berths, and will handle bulk cargo such as cement, aluminum, iron ore, thermal coal, limestone, gypsum, clinker and copper.


Maoists threaten to kill Hindu cleric in Orissa

Maoists threaten to kill Hindu cleric in OrissaBhubaneswar, Oct 23  A Hindu cleric in Orissa Friday said he received a letter from Maoist guerrillas, threatening to kill him like they killed Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati.

Swami Arupananda, president of the Nikhil Utkal Math-Mandiradhish Sevasangha, said he has informed the state police authorities about the letter and sought protection.

Security has been beefed up around the house of Swami Arupananda after the threat to his life, police inspector Tapan K. Mohanty told IANS.


Central Bank to help Orissa's small enterprises

Central Bank to help Orissa's small enterprisesBhubaneswar, Oct 23 : The Orissa government has tied up with the state-run Central Bank of India to strengthen credit flow to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) in the state.

According to the agreement, the bank will deploy funds worth Rs. 25,000 crore for MSMEs on incremental basis over a period of five years and open new branches in industrial areas, a senior official of Industrial Investment Promotion Corp of Orissa Ltd (Iipcol) told IANS.


Orissa farmers hold unique bull protest

Orissa farmers hold unique bull protestBhubaneswar, Oct 24 - Hundreds of farmers in Orissa's Jagatsinghpur district staged a unique protest to highlight the damage caused to their vegetable crops by stray bulls and monkeys. They marched to the block development officer's office with 50 bulls in tow.

The farmers staged the protest in front of the office of the block development officer at Balikuda town, some 75 km from state capital Bhubaneswar. They said they were forced to take the measure as their repeated appeals for help yielded no results.


Five arrested for lynching youth in Orissa

Five arrested for lynching youth in OrissaBhubaneswar, Oct 24 - Five people have been arrested here for lynching a youth on suspicion of theft, police said Saturday.

Manoj Prusty, 27, was caught by the residents of Turiput slum in Mancheswar industrial area here early Friday while he was allegedly trying to lift a cycle from the locality.

"The residents tied Manoj and beat him for several hours after which he succumbed to his injuries," Manoj's mother Jhumar Prusty told IANS.


Three Maoists arrested in Orissa

Three Maoists arrested in OrissaRayagada (Orissa), Oct 24 : Orissa Police arrested three Maoists in Rayagada district on Friday.

The militants were picked up from forest areas that fall under jurisdiction of the Gudari police station during a combing operation by the police, Superintendent of police A K Singh told reporters here.

"The trio belonging to Bansadhara committee of the red rebels was involved in a number of criminal offences, including murder, arson, violent attacks and loot and extortion, he added.


Much in a name: Now its ‘Odisha’

Seventy-three years after British misspelled ‘Orissa’, the eastern state will get its correct name: ‘Odisha’.

On Thursday, the cabinet approved the state government’s proposal to rename ‘Orissa’ ‘Odisha’ and the ‘Oriya’ language ‘Odia’.

Last year, the Orissa cabinet had asked the central government to amend Schedule 1 of the Constitution that lists state names.

The state is called Udisa (Hindi) and Orissa (English), and the language Udiya (Hindi) and Oriya (English) in the Constitution.

The stage government had said that the correct names were Odisha and Odia, respectively.


Central nod to rename Orissa welcomed

Central nod to rename Orissa welcomedBhubaneswar, Oct 24 : The central government's nod to a proposal by Orissa government to re-name the state as Odisha has received appreciation from people in the state.

"This was a long-standing demand. There should also be changes in the names of all other places in Orissa which were misspelt," state Agriculture Minister and the ruling Biju Janata Dal's (BJD) general secretary Damodar Rout told IANS Saturday.


Farmers march bulls and cows for protest to draw authorities’ attention in Orissa

 Farmers march bulls and cows for protest to draw authorities’ attention in OrissaJagatsingpur (Orissa), Oct. 24  : A group of farmers in Orissa staged a unique protest by marching around 30 cows and bulls to the Block Development Officer''s
(BDO) office on Saturday to highlight the damage caused to their farms by stray animals.


Shutdown in Orissa following death of student

Shutdown in Orissa following death of studentBhubaneswar, Oct 26 - The students' wing of the Congress party Monday called for a shutdown in western Orissa after a student was killed in a collision with a police vehicle, officials said.

Violence erupted in Bolangir town following the death of an engineering student Saturday, after a police vehicle allegedly hit his motorcycle. Another student also died after he was "hit by police" during a baton charge.

Hundreds of students took to the streets and destroyed half a dozen vehicles and ransacked a police station.


Enforcement officials begin probe into Orissa chit fund scam

Enforcement officials begin probe into Orissa chit fund scamBhubaneswar, Oct 27 : Enforcement directorate officials Tuesday began investigation into an alleged multi-crore chit fund scam in Orissa, a senior police official has said.

"A team of the enforcement directorate has started the investigation," state inspector general of police (crime branch) Arun Ray told IANS.

The crime branch started an investigation in July after people complained that at least seven companies duped them of lakhs of rupees on the promise of hefty returns on their investment.


Sunken ship attracts tourists to Paradip

Sunken ship attracts tourists to Paradip Bhubaneswar, Oct 27 : The vessel MV Black Rose may have invited media attention for all the wrong reasons, but it is now attracting tourists from different parts of Orissa. Many are coming to Paradip coast to have a peek at the ship that sank last month.


Three Maoists arrested in Orissa

Three Maoists arrested in OrissaBhubaneswar, Oct 30 : Three Maoist rebels were arrested Friday during a combing operation in Orissa's Rayagada district, police said.

"We have arrested three Maoists from Gudari area of the district. They were arrested early today (Friday)," Rayagada Superintendent of Police Ashish Kumar Singh said.

Police officials said they had kept track of the activities of Anand Praska, Purnachandra Sabhutika, Sadananda Hikabadi, who were allegedly involved in several violent activities including setting a police station ablaze in this area, 300 km from the state capital.(IANS)


BJP legislator acquitted in a Kandhamal riots case

BJP legislator acquitted in a Kandhamal riots caseBhubaneswar, Oct 30 : A fast track court in Orissa's Kandhamal district Friday acquitted Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator Manoj Pradhan due to lack of evidence in a case of arson during Kandhamal violence in 2008, an official said.

Udayagiri legislator Manoj Pradhan was accused of torching a house in Banjamaha village under Raikia police station area Oct 1, 2008.


10 years after Orissa super cyclone, orphans carry hope in the breeze

10 years after Orissa super cyclone, orphans carry hope in the breezeBhubaneswar, Oct 31 : Five-year-old Pankajini Ho was old enough to understand the devastation caused by the super cyclone in 1999 that killed about 10,000 and left her an orphan. Ten years later she is mature enough to forget -- and pick up the pieces with the hope of helping those around her.

After being rescued, she was rehabilitated in the Yashoda Sadan orphanage at Cuttack, one of the many orphanages being run in the state.


Orissa remembers its glorious maritime past

Orissa remembers its glorious maritime past Bhubaneswar, Nov 2 : Orissa remembered its maritime past Monday by celebrating Boita Bandana (worship of ships) with traditional fervour. People from different age groups woke up early morning and rushed to different water bodies to sail miniature boats in memory of the glorious past.

Well decorated miniature boats made of banana barks, cork and paper were sailed in water bodies.    

As the legend says, sea traders used to sail to distant islands like Java, Sumatra, Borneo, Ceylon and other countries to trade. It is a festival to remember the past.    


Search on to trace missing pilgrims in Orissa

Bhubaneswar, Nov 3 - A search continued for the second day Tuesday to trace five pilgrims who went missing after a boat capsized in Mahanadi river of Orissa Monday, police said.

The boat capsized at Mancheswar ghat while ferrying pilgrims to Dhabaleswar temple in Cuttack district, about 25 km from state capital Bhubaneswar.

More than 20 people were rescued Monday. The district administration has deployed Orissa Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) personnel for the rescue operation.


Orissa boat accident: 2 bodies recovered, 5 still missing

Orissa boat accident: 2 bodies recovered, 5 still missing Bhubaneswar, Nov 3 : Bodies of two pilgrims who drowned when an overloaded boat capsized Monday in the Mahanadi river in Orissa's Cuttack district Monday, were recovered Tuesday. Five passengers are still missing.

"We have recovered two dead bodies so far from the spot. We will continue the search operation for a few hours more, then we will see," said Arbind Agrawal, the sub-collector of Athagarh in Cuttack district, about 25 km from state capital Bhubaneswar.


3 more in Orissa school found to have swine flu

3 more in Orissa school found to have swine flu Bhubaneswar, Nov 3 : Three more students tested positive swine flu in a residential girls' school in Orissa's Sundergarh district, officials said Tuesday. Two girls had already been detected to be infected Sunday.

"Four swab samples had been sent to regional medical research center. Three of them were found to be positive," Gopinath Mahalik, director of health, told IANS.

He, however, said that there is no need to panic.


Maoists blow up guest house in Orissa

Bhubaneswar, Nov 4 - Maoists blew up a guest house of a private company during a two-day strike at Chitrakonda of Malkangiri district in Orissa, police said Wednesday.

Maoists have called a two-day strike starting Tuesday in Malkangiri, Koraput and Rayagada districts 'to protest against the deployment of forces in these districts'.

Some armed Maoists came late Tuesday and triggered a land mine at the guest house of Essar Steel and partially damaged it.

"Some Maoists triggered a land mine in the guest house of Essar Steel late at night. The guest house has been partially damaged. They have also destroyed office furniture," Superintendent of Police Satyabrat Bhoi said.


Maoists torch guesthouse during two-day Bandh in Orissa

Maoists torch guesthouse during two-day Bandh in OrissaMalkangiri (Orissa), Nov. 4 : In yet another act of violence, a group of Maoists set ablaze a private steel company guest house in Orissa''s Malkangiri district, as they started their two-day Bandh (closure) that hit normal life here on Wednesday.

According to a senior police official, around 50 armed Maoists attacked Essar Steel’s guest house at Gajiagoda in Chitrakonda area of the district at midnight and set it ablaze.

The extremists stormed into the building by assaulting the guard of the guesthouse.


Koraput tribals resort to Black magic to get rid of ‘unknown disease’

Koraput tribals resort to Black magic to get rid of ‘unknown disease’Koraput, Nov. 4 : Tribals in Orissa’s Koraput district are resorting to black magic and superstitions to get cured from the spell of an unknown disease, which the doctors are yet to identify.

Recently, five children succumbed to this unknown disease in which patients complain of pain in stomach.


Blast in Chandipur test range kills one, leaves two injured

Blast in Chandipur test range kills one, leaves two injuredBhubaneswar, Nov 4 : One person was killed and two others were injured Wednesday when a blast took place inside Orissa's Chandipur test range campus while ammunition was being loaded, police said.

"The blast happened when some people were loading ammunition. The ammunition blasted, leading to the casualty," said Superintendent of Police (Balasore) Lekha Lohani.

According to informed sources, the accident occurred around 5 p. m. The injured have been admitted to hospital.


Five cases of swine flu detected in Orissa

Five cases of swine flu detected in OrissaSundergarh (Orissa), Nov 5 : Five students from Kanyashrama School in Orissa’s Sundergarh district have tested positive for Swine flu.

According to reports, some students from the school complained of normal fever. Later, these students were given medication, but the number of affected students kept on increasing.

Chief District Medical Officer, B K Kindo who treated the affected students, informed that all the students were given the treatment as soon as they were detected carrying the virus.


More people embroiled in Orissa mining scam

More people embroiled in Orissa mining scamBhubaneswar, Nov 6 - The vigilance department in Orissa plans to register criminal cases against more people as it has found evidence of their involvement in a multi-crore mining scam in two districts of the state, an official said Friday.

"In a week or so, we will be able to lodge some more criminal cases," said Anup Kumar Patnaik, director, vigilance department.

He, however, declined to name these people or the exact number of cases the department plans to register, saying it may hamper the investigation.


Another farmer commits suicide in Orissa

Another farmer commits suicide in OrissaBolangir (Orissa), Nov 6 : A farmer in Orissa’s Bolangir district committed suicide after incurring huge losses due to pest attack.

According to reports, Baldev Barik of Keseipalli village in Bolangir district allegedly committed suicide on Thursday by consuming pesticide after insects and pests attacked five acres of his cultivated agricultural land.

Jasoda Barik, the crestfallen widow, said that in the morning Baldev went to the fields and on returning he informed that he had consumed the poison since he had taken loan.


Four held in Rs.1,000 crore Orissa land scam

Four held in Rs.1,000 crore Orissa land scamBhubaneswar, Nov 7 : Four people, including a former government official, have been arrested in Orissa for allegedly acquiring and selling government land worth Rs. 1,000 crore, police said Saturday.

The four are said to be part of a gang comprising builders and government officials who transferred land into their names illegally and then sold and re-sold the property to different people a number of times.


One killed in Orissa clash

One killed in Orissa clashBhubaneswar, Nov 7 : At least one person was killed in a clash between two groups of villagers Saturday over a piece of government land in Orissa's Dhenkanal district, police said.

The clash took place in Amlapada village, about 170 km from Bhubaneswar, when a group of villagers tried to vacate the government land occupied by another group.

"One person was killed in the clash," Superintendent of Police Satish Gajbhiye told IANS. (IANS)


Villagers worship rare turtle in Orissa

Villagers worship rare turtle in OrissaBhubaneswar, Nov 7 : Hundreds of villagers in Orissa's Kendrapada district have been worshipping a rare turtle since Thursday as it has eyes similar to that of a Hindu deity, a forest official said Saturday.

The turtle was brought Thursday to Khadipala village, about 150 km from here, by Ramesh Patra from a nearby river. It has been kept in a village temple in a water container.

The residents lined up Friday and Saturday to have a glimpse of the turtle in the belief that it will bring good fortune.


Woman held for killing infant in Orissa

Woman held for killing infant in OrissaBhubaneswar, Nov 8 - A woman has been arrested for killing a 24-day old baby in Orissa's Puri district, police said Sunday.

Mamata Samantray, 28, confessed that she killed the son of her sister-in-law Renubala as she wanted to make her own son the sole inheritor of the family property. She is a mother of a one-year-old boy.

Mamata is a resident of Kakharu Basta village, nearly 40 km from here.

"She was apprehensive about sharing the family properties after Renubala gave birth to the child," police inspector Jagannath Mishra told IANS.


Man bites snake to death in Orissa

Man bites snake to death in OrissaBhubaneswar, Nov 8 - In a bizarre incident, a 25-year-old gardener in Orissa, furious after being bitten by a snake, grabbed the reptile, tore it apart and chewed bits of its flesh.

The incident took place Saturday in a government-managed park at Baramunda area on the outskirts of the state capital Bhubaneswar.

The snake had bitten Ramesh Kumar Jamda, the gardener of the park, when he was removing weeds, Oriya news paper Sambad reported Sunday.

A furious Jamda then caught hold of the snake and chewed parts of its body and swallowed the flesh.


Navy to deploy fast crafts to thwart Mumbai-like attacks

Navy to deploy fast crafts to thwart Mumbai-like attacksParadip (Orissa), Nov 9 - The Indian Navy would soon deploy fast attack crafts to protect the eastern coast to thwart attacks like last year's terror strike on Mumbai where the terrorists landed on the city's shoreline and unleashed mayhem, a senior navy official said.


Orissa orders suspension of work in 30 iron ore mines

Orissa orders suspension of work in 30 iron ore minesBhubaneswar, Nov 9 - Orissa has ordered the suspension of work in at least 30 iron ore mines after the operators failed to produce documents to show their mining activities were legal, a senior mines department official said Monday.

The state mines department served notices in October to the mine operators in mineral-rich Keonjhar district, asking them to produce necessary documents so they could continue operations.


Indian warships to stay in Gulf of Aden till piracy ends: official

Paradip (Orissa), Nov 9 - The Indian Navy warships stationed in the Gulf of Aden to protect Indian merchant ships from frequent attacks by Somali pirates will remain in the region until a permanent solution is worked out, a senior navy officer said.

"The two warships at the Gulf of Aden will protect Indian ships from Somali pirates. The Indian Navy is concerned that the Indian exports are not affected due to some hooligans. Once the warships give protection to the Indian ships, no one will dare come near the merchant ships," Rear Admiral P. Murugesan, the flag officer commanding of the Indian Nay's Eastern Fleet, told visiting journalists Sunday on board the INS Jalashwa off this port city in Orissa.


Navy exhibits strength off Orissa coast

indian-navySeven Indian Navy ships displayed their strengths on Sunday in the Bay of Bengal, about 100 km off Paradeep port in Orissa.

This was done as part of the Navy Week celebrations.

“The Indian Navy has to protect the country’s coastal security and international trade at any cost,” Rear Admiral P. Murugesan said at a press briefing on board the INS Jalashwa, India’s first amphibious ship, referring to the Mumbai attacks in November last year and the hijack of commercial ships by sea pirates at the Gulf of Aden (in West Asia) by Somali sea pirates.

Paradip is located 124 km east of Bhubaneswar.


Strengthened coastal security to prevent a repeat of Mumbai attack: Indian Navy

Strengthened coastal security to prevent a repeat of Mumbai attack: Indian NavyParadip (Orissa), Nov 9 : Indian Navy has said that it has made all possible plans to ensure that a repetition of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack- like incident does not take place.


Indian Navy comes up with a power spectacle on high seas

Indian Navy comes up with a power spectacle on high seasParadip (Orissa), Nov 10 - Warships cruising at breakneck speed, guns firing and shells sizzling into the aquamarine water - the scene seemed straight out of a war film as the Indian Navy conducted an exercise in the Bay of Bengal off this port city.

Seven ships of the Eastern Fleet - Landing Platform Dock INS Jalashwa, guided missile destroyer INS Ranjit and five missile corvettes - participated in the exercise Sunday as part of the Navy Week celebrations.


Orissa villagers refuse to release rare turtle

Orissa villagers refuse to release rare turtleBhubaneswar, Nov 10 - Residents of a village in Orissa are refusing to release a rare turtle which they have trapped because they believe it as an incarnation of god, official said Tuesday.

Wildlife officials have visited the residents of Khadipala village in the coastal district of Kendrapada, about 150 km from here, a number of times and have tried to convince residents that confinement of an endangered reptile is illegal.


This snake helpline helps humans and snakes alike

Ganjam (Orissa), Nov 10 - The trick in catching poisonous snakes with bare hands lies not in the technique but in the attitude and belief that these reptiles are "not our enemies", as the three men who run a free snake helpline in Orissa's Ganjam district will tell you.

The helpline was started in 1999 by Surendra Behera, a daily wage labourer.

Moved by the number of deaths due to snake bites in the Polasara area of Ganjam district, Behera started the helpline to provide help in removing snakes from people's homes and ensuring that victims of snake bites were given timely medical help. They also ensure that the snakes are later released into the wild.


Maoists loot construction material in Orissa

Maoists loot construction material in OrissaBhubaneswar, Nov 10 - Maoist guerrillas Tuesday attacked a contractor's storehouse and looted construction material worth more than Rs. 100,000 in Orissa's Malkangiri district, police said.

More than 25 Maoists attacked the storehouse at MPV (Malkangiri Pottery Village) 77 village, about 670 km from state capital Bhubaneswar when nobody was present, district Superintendent of Police Satyabrata Bhoi told IANS.


Maoists loot construction material in Orissa

Maoists loot construction material in OrissaBhubaneswar, Nov 10 - Maoist guerrillas Tuesday attacked a contractor's storehouse and looted construction material worth more than Rs. 100,000 in Orissa's Malkangiri district, police said.

More than 25 Maoists attacked the storehouse at MPV (Malkangiri Pottery Village) 77 village, about 670 km from state capital Bhubaneswar when nobody was present, district Superintendent of Police Satyabrata Bhoi told IANS.


Eight Orissa men held for fishing at turtle nesting site

Eight Orissa men held for fishing at turtle nesting siteBhubaneswar, Nov 10 : At least eight fishermen were arrested for fishing in the prohibited area of a turtle nesting site in Orissa's Kendrapada district, a senior forest official said Tuesday.

The forest officials caught the fishermen Monday evening when they were fishing at Gahirmatha sanctuary - one of the world's largest turtle nesting sites where 700,000 to
800,000 endangered Olive Ridley turtles nest every winter.

"We have also seized their mechanised trawler," divisional forest officer P. K. Behera told IANS.


Crew of sunken Mongolian ship leave for home

Crew of sunken Mongolian ship leave for home Bhubaneswar, Nov 10 : After they were stranded for two months in Paradip port in Orissa, the 26 crew members of the sunken Mongolian ship MV Black Rose left for their countries Tuesday. They were allowed to go home after the International Transport Federation (ITF) intervened.

The ill-fated Mongolian ship, with 27 crew on board, sank off Paradip on Sep 9. It was transporting 25,000 tonnes of iron ore fines to China. The chief engineer, Oleksander Ilyushchenko - a Ukrainian national - however, died in the mishap while all others were rescued.


Orissa villages worship turtle resembling Lord Jagannath

Orissa villages worship turtle resembling Lord JagannathKendrapada (Orissa), Nov. 10 : A fresh water turtle is being worshipped in Orissa's Kendrapada district, as it reportedly has features resembling to Lord Jagannath.

Residents of Khadipal village are chanting hymns, carrying garlands and fruit to offer prayers and seek blessings from the turtle.

According to them, the turtle has some celestial marks on its body, which resemble the eyes, nose and mouth of Lord Jagannath.

It is also said to have images of the Shankha (divine conch shell), lotus flower and wooden sandals.


Essar, Paradip Port sign deal for Rs.400-crore coal berth

Essar, Paradip Port sign deal for Rs.400-crore coal berthBhubaneswar, Nov 10 : Paradip Port Trust Tuesday signed a concession agreement with Essar Paradip Terminals for construction of deep draught coal berth, the port authorities said.

The coal berth will be developed at an estimated cost of Rs. 408.8 crore by the concessionaire in 36 months, the authorities said in a statement.

Paradip Port will provide supporting facilities like dredging of channel, railway connectivity and back-up area at an estimated cost of Rs. 70.21 crore.


Government striving to make Bhubaneswar "smoke-free"

Government striving to make Bhubaneswar "smoke-free"To protect people from inhaling harmful fumes produced from smoking, the State government will be banning smoking in public places in Bhubaneswar, under the Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA), 2003.

If all goes well according to the plan of government, Bhubaneswar will become the first ‘smoke-free’ city in Orissa in the next six months.


Raids on leading Orissa mining company

Raids on leading Orissa mining companyBhubaneswar, Nov 12 - Orissa's vigilance department, probing an alleged multi-crore mining scam in the state, raided the offices of a leading mining company here and found irregularities in running of several mines, a senior official said Thursday.

A team of nearly 100 officials from the police, forest, vigilance, income tax, geologists and sales tax departments have been raiding the offices of the firm Sirajuddin and Company since early this week, he said.


Maoists kill four in Orissa village

Maoists kill four in Orissa villageRayagada (Orissa), Nov 12 : About fifty armed Maoists entered a village and killed four people in Orissa''s Rayagada district on Wednesday.

Maoists entered a house in Pandratola village, about 350 kilometers from state-capital Bhubaneswar late at night and killed three people. Two other people were injured and were admitted in hospital, out of which one died.

Reports say the Maoists killed these people on suspension that they were police informers and exploiters of tribals.


Farmers on hunger strike in Orissa

Farmers on hunger strike in OrissaKalahandi (Orissa), Nov 12 : Farmers in Kalahandi District have gone on an indefinite hunger strike today, demanding compensation for crop damage.

Scores of farmers assembled at the Block office and met officials to highlight their demands.

Paddy crops over thousands of hectares have been damaged by cash worm varieties of pests.

The agitating farmers are demanding compensation, crop insurance benefits, and interest waiver on crop loans, among a host of other demands.


Three troopers killed in Orissa landmine blast

Three troopers killed in Orissa landmine blastBhubaneswar, Nov 13 - At least three Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were killed Friday after Maoists blew up their vehicle in Orissa's Malkangiri district, police said.

The vehicle carrying the personnel was returning to the Malkangiri district headquarters, about 600 km from here, from a village after doing some official duty, Deputy Inspector General of Police Sanjeeb Panda told IANS.

Maoist guerrillas blasted the vehicle using a land mine in a forested area at 8 a. m., about eight km from the Kalimela police station, Panda said. (IANS)


Three CRPF personnel killed in Orissa landmine blast

Three CRPF personnel killed in Orissa landmine blastMalkangiri (Orissa), Nov 13 : At least three CRPF personnel, including an officer, were killed when suspected Maoists triggered a landmine blast in Orissa''s Malkangiri district today.

According to sources, the blast took place in Maoist-dominated MV-66 area, about 40 km from Malkangiri, when a van carrying the CRPF personnel was on its way from Kalimela to Gompagunda.

The attack is believed to be part of the Maoist strategy to restrict movement of security forces ahead of their proposed offensive in the region. (ANI)


Orissa gearing up for joint anti-Maoist operation

Orissa gearing up for joint anti-Maoist operationBhubaneswar, Nov 13 : Orissa is gearing up for a joint operation with central forces against the Maoists who are active in more than half of the state's 30 districts, a senior official said Friday.

"We are gearing up for the operation. It has been delayed a bit but we will take up the matter with union Home Secretary G. K. Pillai who will come here on Nov 20. We will have a detailed discussion with him before launching the operation," the official said, declining to be named.


Crackdown on illegal mining in Orissa to continue

Crackdown on illegal mining in Orissa to continueBhubaneswar, Nov 14 - The crackdown on illegal mining in Orissa will continue "as long as necessary", a senior state government official has said here, adding that it is meant to preserve the environment and ensure that rules are followed.

"It is part of regular work. It will continue as long as necessary to put things in order," the state government's Steel and Mines Secretary Ashok Mohadeo Rao Dalwai told IANS.


Orissa gets a new chief justice -- for four days

Justice-Bilal-NazkiBhubaneswar, Nov 14 : Justice Bilal Nazki was Saturday sworn in as the chief justice of the Orissa High Court just four days before he retires Nov 18.

Justice Nazki, who was a judge of the Bombay High Court, was administered the oath by Governor M. C. Bhandare.

Born Nov 18, 1947 in Srinagar, Justice Nazki obtained his law degree from Aligarh Muslim University.

Prior to his elevation as an additional judge of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court in 1995, he worked as the advocate general of the state.


80-year-old elephant dies in Orissa reserve

80-year-old elephant dies in Orissa reserveBhubaneswar, Nov 15 - An 80-year-old female elephant, one of the oldest pachyderms in Orissa, died of injuries inside a reserve after battling for life for three days, an official said Sunday.

The elephant died Saturday in the Chandaka wildlife sanctuary on the outskirts of state capital Bhubaneswar.

The official said the elephant was bleeding profusely and was in excruciating pain due to multiple injuries on her body. The cause of the injuries was not known.


Orissa records hottest November day in 57 years

Orissa records hottest November day in 57 yearsBhubaneswar, Nov 16 - Orissa has witnessed the hottest day in November in the last 57 years, an official said here Monday.

"On Sunday we had the highest temperature of the day in the state so far recorded in November since 1952," Bhubaneswar meteorological centre director S. C. Sahu told IANS.

He said Bhubaneswar recorded 37.6 degrees Celsius temperature Sunday, at least seven degrees above normal.

This Orissa capital had recorded 36 degrees Celsius Nov 18 in 1952.


Orissa partners with Small Industries Development Bank

Orissa partners with Small Industries Development BankBhubaneswar, Nov 16 Orissa State Financial Corp (OSFC) has tied up with Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) to strengthen credit flow into the small and medium enterprises sector in the state.

As per the agreement, SIDBI will provide re-finance facilities for the development of small scale industries at concessional rate, an OSFC official told IANS.

Officials of SIDBI and OSFC have signed an agreement in this regard in the presence of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, the official said.


50 Orissa children sick after eating stale food

50 Orissa children sick after eating stale foodBhubaneswar, Nov 17 - More than 50 children in Orissa were hospitalised after eating stale food at a government-run centre, an official said Tuesday.

The children fell sick Monday after eating food distributed at an anganwadi, mother and child centre, in Indupur village of Rayagada district, about 320 km from state capital Bhubaneswar.

"Special food is served to children at the anganwadi twice a month to supplement the daily food intake. It seems the quality of food was not good," admitted District Social Welfare Officer Sanghamitra Kanungo.


NALCO shelves project in South Africa, to go ahead in Iran

NALCO shelves project in South Africa, to go ahead in IranBhubaneswar, Nov 17 : State-run National Aluminium Co (NALCO) has decided not to pursue its planned aluminium smelter and power plant in South Africa as it could not get coal linkage, but will push a similar project in Iran, a senior company official said.

NALCO -- Asia's largest integrated aluminium producer -- was exploring possibilities of setting up a half-million tonne aluminium smelter plant and a 1,250-MW power plant in South Africa on an investment of about Rs. 17,000 crore (Rs. 170 billion / $3.68 billion).


Oil leak in Haldia-Paradip pipeline in Orissa

Oil leak in Haldia-Paradip pipeline in OrissaBhubaneswar, Nov 17 :  An oil leak was Tuesday spotted at a crucial pipeline of the state-run Indian Oil Corp in Orissa's Bhadrak district, raising concerns over its environmental impact and loss of supplies.

The leak was detected early morning by residents near Jafrabad village, some 170 km from state capital Bhubaneswar, said District Collector K. C. Patra.

"The leakage was from the Haldia-Paradip pipeline. After detecting the leakage, the villagers diverted the oil to a nearby pond," Patra told IANS.


Orissa suspends work in 128 mines

Orissa suspends work in 128 minesBhubaneswar, Nov 18 - The Orissa government has ordered suspension of work in 59 more mines, taking the total number of mines served such notices this month to 128, an official said Wednesday.

The mines were served notices for alleged illegal mining in Orissa.

"All together, the number of mines served show cause notices by Wednesday is 128," Steel and Mines Secretary Ashok Mohadeo Rao Dalwai told IANS.


Orissa session opens to mining scam row

Orissa Government determined to root out NaxalismThe issue of illegal mining has taken centrestage in Orissa’s politics with the opposition preparing to corner Chief Minister Navin Patnaik on the alleged scam, when the winter session of the state assembly begins on Wednesday.

Even as vigilance officials continue to raid mine operators, the scam — which surfaced in June and allegedly runs into thousands of crores of rupees — is hurting Patnaik’s image of being a clean politician. It has also given common ground to opposition parties — both Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party — to take on the ruling Biju Janata Dal.


Hundreds arrested for protesting against Orissa government

Hundreds arrested for protesting against Orissa government Bhubaneswar, Nov 18 : More than 250 workers and leaders of the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) were arrested for breaking a police cordon Wednesday during a protest here against the state government's failure to control farmer suicides and illegal mining, an official said.

Shouting slogans against the Biju Janata Dal government led by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, the protesters came in a procession from their party office with placards and banners bearing slogans which read 'Naveen Patnaik down down'.


Nine convicted, five acquitted in Kandhamal riots case

Nine convicted, five acquitted in Kandhamal riots caseBhubaneswar, Nov 18 : Nine people were Wednesday convicted and each sentenced to four years in jail by a fast track court in Orissa for their role in a case of arson during the Kandhamal violence in 2008.

Five people, including a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator, were acquitted by the fast track court in Kandhamal.


Rain brings down mercury in Orissa

Rain brings down mercury in OrissaBhubaneswar, Nov 19 - A spell of rainfall has pushed the mercury down across Orissa -- a state which witnessed unusually high temperature a few days ago.

Bhubaneswar and Talcher, which recorded a maximum of 37.6 degree Celsius Sunday -- the hottest day in November in the last 57 years -- recorded 32 and 28.5 degrees respectively Wednesday, an official of the meteorological centre at the state capital here told IANS.

The temperature was down because many parts of the state had rain and thundershowers Tuesday and Wednesday, the official said.


Orissa assembly adjourned over farmers committing suicide

Orissa assembly adjourned over farmers committing suicideBhubaneswar, Nov 19 - The Orissa assembly was repeatedly adjourned Thursday as the opposition Congress took up the issue of dozens of distressed farmers committing suicide allegedly due to their crops failing and government neglect.

Trouble began as soon as question hour started with leader of opposition Bhupinder Singh demanding that the deaths of the farmers in various parts of the state be condoled in the house.


Two foreigners detained at Puri temple