Khordha District, May 15, 2023: The bandh call by the CPI (Maoist) in seven districts of Odisha state over their 12-point charter of demands saw road traffic being affected with the Maoists erecting blockades by felling trees at several places, including Pankalguri near Hanumantpur under Chandrapur block in Rayagada district on Monday.
Posters and banners, alleging that underprivileged individuals in the state are being denied access to essential services such as education, healthcare, and housing, were also found at Chandrapur and Basadhara-Ghumusur-Nagavali blocks.
In an audio release on Friday, the Maoist party announced that it would enforce a bandh in Rayagada, Kandhamal, Ganjam, Kalahandi, Boudh, Gajapati and Nayagarh districts to press its demands. However, essential services including hospital, ambulances, medical stores and examination centres would be exempted from the bandh, it added.
The Maoists demands included allotment of houses to deserving beneficiaries under PM Awas Yojana or Biju Awas Yojana in 6 months, free supply of oil, dal, salt along with PDS rice, construction of roads, drinking water supply and power connection to all villages and construction of hospitals in every panchayat.
Stating that education has been most neglected in the backward areas of these districts, the Maoists demanded establishment of Adarsh Schools in every panchayat, reopening of the schools closed for lack of sufficient number of students, appointment of teachers in vacant posts and monthly scholarship of Rs 3,000 to tribal students.
Highlighting the unemployment problems in the area, the Maoists demanded payment of monthly unemployment allowance of Rs 3,000. Besides this, increasing the old age and widow pension to Rs 3,000 was also demanded by them.