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Lower Sukhtel: Hunger Strike enters Day 8

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Balangir: The indefinite hunger strike by the Lower Sukhtel Action Committee (LSAC) in Balangir has entered Day 8 today. Seven people, with the support of 28 Organizations and Associations of Balangir have been on a sit-in dharna to expedite the Lower Sukhtel Irrigation Project.

The hunger strike has won support of the organizations including the District Bar Association, Citizens’ Committee of Balangir, and Truck Owner’s Association, Marwari Yuva Manch, Yadav Mahasangha, Brahmin Maha Sabha, KKD, Merchant’s Association of Balangir and others.

The issue has been very sensitive for people of Balangir district, as they desperately need the project to improve the living conditions as well as enhance the agricultural output. That is the reason the strike is being supported by people from all sections and groups without any exception.

It is worth mentioning here that Balangir is one of the scheduled districts of the KBK scheme – meant for poor tribal districts in Odisha. Moreover, the district is a drought prone zone and has witnessed poverty, hunger deaths and many other issues in the last two decade. So, the project holds much importance for the people in Balangir.

Arun Mishra, co-coordinator of the Lower Sukhtel Action Committee (LSAC) told our correspondent Himanshu Guru, “Since last few years some politicians are sharing it to be there election plank, but practically doing nothing”.

Gopalji Panigrahi, whose health condition has worsened after 8 days of hunger strike, provided the list of all the organizations that are supporting the cause. His condition could aggravate further if immediate medical attention is not given.

The Committee demands, ‘Let the Revenue Secretary and Water Resource Secretary come for the talks personally or issue an official or Press release to accept our 11 charter demands, and then we will call off the strike.”

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