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Flashback 2017: Major happenings and occurrences in Odisha

Odisha

As the New Year 2018 is knocking at the doors and we are just hours away from the New Year’s Eve celebrations, Pragativadi.com presents you some of the major happenings of 2017 those have set marks in our memories. Some of them can be recalled as delightful and some are heart-wrenching.

So let’s have a quick flashback of Odisha’s experience in 2017.

Political vis-à-vis: A peek into major happenings that influenced Odisha politics

Cabinet reshuffle

Effecting a major cabinet reshuffle Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik picked 10 new ministers and promoted 2 others to his cabinet on May 7 after 10 resigned a day before the rejig.

While the new ministers were assigned portfolios, there has been a massive reshuffle for the ministers retained in the cabinet and independent posts.

The 10 new ministers with two new cabinet ministers were inducted with an oath taking ceremony by Governor SC Jamir in presence of CM Naveen. The new ministers were: Surya Narayan Patro, Niranjan Pujari, Pratap Jena, Prafulla Samal, Shashi Bhushan Behera, Ananta Das, Sushant Singh, Nrusingha Sahoo, Chandrasarathi Behera and Maheswar Mohanty.

Eight ministers were sworn in as cabinet ministers on the day: Ramesh Majhi, Prafulla Mallick, Pratap Jena, Surya Narayan Patro, Maheswar Mohanty, Prafulla Samal, Niranjan Pujari, Sashibhushan Behera.

The new Ministers of State (Independent charge) sworn in were: Nrusingha Charan Sahu, Ananta Das, Chandrasarathi Behera and Sushant Singh.

Mahanadi Water Dispute

The Odisha-ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have been at loggerheads keeping their own stances over the Mahanadi River water dispute between Odisha and Chhattisgarh which is yet continuing with political fervor.

While the Narendra Modi-led Union Government is alleging the state government for raising the concern late and furnishing false information at the Supreme Court in this regard, the State Government refutes the allegations by hitting the Centre back for showing apathetic attitude towards resolving the issue and delaying the process to form a tribunal to adjudicate the Mahanadi issue.

 

 

Bijepur battle

Bijepur has been witnessing a huge political gambling with party heavy weights of the BJD, BJP and Congress showing their prowess to grab the Assembly Constituency seat which had been lying vacant after the demise of sitting Congress Legislator Subal Sahu.

The turn and twists in the bypoll-bound Bijepur began with Subal Sahu’s family joining the BJD and Former Bijepur MLA and BJD leader Ashok Panigrahi joining the saffron party along with thousands of his supporters at a special function in Barapalli.

The high-voltage drama continued when BJD’s Bijepur block president Radheshyam Mohapatra resigned from the post ahead of Bijepur by-election, alleging the party has shown negligence to its members and importance was given to Congress workers.

With one resigning from the party, BJD added a feather after Senior BJP leader Bhisma Sharaf and local sarpanch Rajesh Seth along with his supporters joined the BJD in presence of party supremo Naveen Patnaik at his residence.

Damodar Rout’s ouster from Ministry and BJD vice president’s post

It proved to be an adverse year for Damodar Rout as he recently faced Chief Minister and BJD President Naveen Patnaik’s annoyance over his derogatory remark on Brahmin Community that stirred controversy and he was ousted from the Council of Ministers as well as party’s vice president post.

Rout was sacked from the ministry over his alleged derogatory remarks against Brahmin community at a public function in Malkangiri district.

Following Rout’s sacking, Patnaik distributed the departments looked after by Rout to other ministers.

The CM also ruled out the possibility of a cabinet reshuffle saying that there is no plan for any reshuffle yet.

While Panchayati Raj Minister Pradeep Maharathy was given additional charge of agriculture and farmer empowerment, fisheries and animal resources development departments, Finance Minister S B Behera was put in charge of public enterprises department.

 

Bijoy Mohapatra expelled from BJP’s Kendrapara district committee

Senior BJP leader Bijoy Mohapatra, who was infamous in the party for his sharp criticism to various Modi government schemes and actions, was expelled from Kendrapara District BJP Committee over indiscipline and anti-party activities.

The action was taken against the outspoken leader following a scuffle between his supporters and former MLA Utkal Keshari Parida’s followers during party’s ‘Mishran Parva’ at Singitia Sindhibata in Kendrapara recently.

Bijoy Mohapatra was removed as the special invitee member of the working committee as a part of the action, informed Kendrapara district BJP president Duryodhan Sahoo.

Notably, the ‘Mishran Parva’ in Kendrapara turned into a virtual battleground in which Mohapatra’s supporters attacked the other group with sticks and ransacked the venue completely for not inviting him to the event.

However, Bijoy claimed that it as planned and planted conspiracy hatched by some state level leaders.

 

Congress youth icon Lulu Mohapatra’s family joins the Saffron party

Late Congress heavyweight Lulu Mohapatra’s daughter Upasana Mohapatra and brother Lalitendu Bidyadhar Mohapatra  brought an end to all speculations of political pundits in the state by joining the Bharatiya Janata Party at a special function called ‘BJP Mishran Parv’ at Bhubaneswar.

Senior lawyer Pitambar Acharya and former Youth Congress leader Satyajit Pattnaik also joined the saffron party.

A number of supporters of late Lulu Mohapatra including members of Lulu Sena also joined the BJP.

Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and other senior leaders such as BJP legislature party leader KV Singhdeo and BJP State President Basant Panda were present at the Mishraan Parva.

 

 

Tweet War of BJD Parliamentarians

After the subsequent tweets received from Dhenkanal MP Tathagat Satpathy alleging that BJP is trying to create a split in BJD like AIADMK and one BJD MP is allegedly hand in glove with the saffron party in its shady deal, in response, Kendrapada BJD MP Baijayanta Panda later tweeted, “He speaks w/ expertise, once suspended from BJD, joined another party.” 

Such ‘tweet war’ was a talk of the day in the state ahead of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s two-day national convention in April slated here in the state capital city. Leaders from BJD, Congress and BJP had come up with their reactions.

Congress MLA Naba Kishore Das remarked, “When the people start rejecting a political party, that party is faction-ridden along with other internal crises. Same is the situation with the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD). This party is on the verge of split. The rejection by people will see its climax in 2019. They (BJD leaders) used to comment on us that our Congress party is faction-ridden. Now let them guard their own party and then try to tackle the general public.”

On the contrary, BJD Vice-president Damodar Rout has said that everything with such situations alike happens for the sake of wresting power. He also said that BJD will never split till there is Biju legacy in the state.

Demise of Political ‘Chanakya’ Pyari Mohan Mohapatra

Veteran politician and former bureaucrat Pyari Mohan Mohapatra passed away on March 20 this year at Hinduja hospital in Mumbai. His condition was critical since the last few days. He was 77.

Affected with lung cancer that had been treated earlier, he was reportedly suffering from brain infection.

He was an officer of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) 1963 Batch, Odisha Cadre and served for 35 years in different positions till retirement in January, 1998. He was the main political adviser to Naveen Patnaik and was often referred to as Chanakya in the political spheres.

The former bureaucrat formed his independent party, Odisha Jana Morcha after being ousted by Naveen following an alleged coup in June 2012 and was serving as an MP in Rajya Sabha where his term ended on July 1, 2016.

Panchayat Poll: BJP gives big fight to BJD

After the official announcement of Panchayat poll results with details of zilla parishad zones and winning candidate names, it was published that of the 848 zones BJD has claimed 471 zones while BJP stunned all with 295 zones. Congress remained far behind with only 60 zones while independent candidates won 16 seats.

Accordingly, Poll result forecasts 17 districts for BJD, 8 districts for BJP and 1 district for Congress to form Zilla Parishads in upcoming days while it’s yet undecided in case of 4 districts.

The Polling held in five phases between Feb 13 and Feb 21 comprising 849 zilla parishad zones, 6,802 gram panchayats, 6,801 Panchayat Samiti members and 92,052 ward members. Fifty percent seats were reserved for women candidates in the election for the first time ever.

While gram panchayat head, panchayat samiti members and ward members contested the polling on other symbols, the zilla parishad zones were fought with party logos.

 

 

2nd Brahmani Bridge: A war of words ensued between Centre and State

After blame game between the Centre and State, the NHAI authorities finally held discussions with Chief Secretary AP Padhi at the State Secretariat and assured to start construction of the second bridge on Brahmani river near Rourkela.

The controversy had erupted after Union Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari written to Odisha government citing that lack of clearances from the Odisha Forest department has led to the delay in construction of the bridge.

The allegation made by the Union Minister was refuted by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik by saying that the proposed Brahmani bridge site is on non-forest land and no clearances are necessary.

Later, Naveen said that if the Centre is not serious about the project then the State Government will build it with its own funds.

Rubbishing the allegations levelled by BJP that the state government is responsible for the inordinate delay of second Brahmani bridge construction, Naveen had again wrote a letter to Gadkari apprising him that no forest clearance is needed in this regard as the said land is non-forest.

Earlier on the same day, Minister Bikram Keshari Arukha also stated the allegations to be false by saying, “Forest clearance is not needed for construction of Brahmani Bridge. Centre is misleading the people on this issue. They should not delay further and start construction. We are ready to help”.

The CM had urged Gadkari for personal intervention to direct the NHAI to immediately take up construction of the second bridge over Brahmani River or allow the State Government to construct the six lane bridge near Panposh of Sundargarh district as a standalone project in the larger interest of the public.

Replying to Naveen on construction of second bridge over river Brahmani in Rourkela, Gadkari had said delay in granting statutory approval from Odisha Government including forest clearance and land acquisition has led to non- commencement of project on Birmitrapur-Barkote section of NH-143.

Hike of Minimum Support Price (MSP) for Paddy

After failing to get an appointment from Prime Minister Narendra Modi on two occasions to discuss over hike of minimum support price (MSP) for paddy, Odisha Assembly passed a resolution to meet President Ram Nath Kovind on the issue.

The ruling BJD moved a motion on the MSP issue and targeted the Central Government along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

According to reports, a resolution on MSP hike for paddy was passed in the State Assembly following which it was decided that the House Committee would meet President Kovind and apprise him about the issue.

The Business Advisory Committee of the Odisha Assembly gave a green signal to the discussion on MSP after government chief whip Amar Satpathy presented a House Committee report relating to paddy MSP on the third day of the winter session.

Both the Congress and BJD came down heavily on the BJP-led Union government. They said that it is very unfortunate not to get an appointment with the Prime Minister to discuss the topic.

However, BJP will not be part of the committee.

Notably, the State Assembly had on March 25 unanimously adopted a resolution recommending the state government to demand the Centre for increasing the MSP of paddy to Rs 2,930 per quintal instead of Rs 1,550 following which time and again Odisha is demanding for the hike.

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik also had raised the issue on the 12th Standing Committee meeting of the Inter-State Council in New Delhi on November 25.

A delegation comprising of the BJD MLAs had submitted a memorandum to Odisha Governor SC Jamir placing the demand for enhancing Minimum Support Price (MSP) to Rs 2930 per quintal for common paddy.

The Politicization of Farmers’ suicide cases

While reports could not reveal the exact figures of the number of farmers committed suicide allegedly due to crop loss and debt burden, still it’s nearly 16 such cases that shook the government and Odisha’s political sphere this year.

A flood of allegations leveled that the farmers ended their lives over crop loss and cobweb of loan burden due to deficit rain, unseasonal rain, pest menace and duplicate pesticide.

The ruling-BJD also attracted criticism from opposition with the party’s senior leaders making controversial statements on the suicides that still remain unabated in the state.

In view of the alarming scenario, The Agriculture Cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had announced packages for farmers whose crops have been affected by pest attack.

Odisha government decided to provide agriculture input subsidy to the small and marginal farmers who have sustained crop loss of 33 percent and above due to pest attack at Rs 6,800 per hectare of land in non-irrigated areas and Rs 13,500 per hectare of land in areas under assured irrigation.

It is also decided that agricultural input subsidy will be provided to the farmers other than small and, marginal farmers at the same rates subject to a ceiling of two hectares per farmer. The assistance shall be provided to the actual cultivators.

In pest affected areas, 75 percent subsidy will be provided to the farmers for purchase of insecticides for management of BPH for crops sown during Kharif.

The farmers affected by pest attack in the Kharif shall be provided fresh finance for Rabi cultivation during current Rabi season, which has commenced for October 1.

The Agriculture Cabinet also decided to waive the tuition fees and examination fee in government and aided schools and colleges in the pest affected areas.

On the other hand, Odisha Government had recently directed Collectors to complete disbursement of agriculture input subsidy to affected farmers by December 15. Revenue and Disaster Management Minister Maheswar Mohanty reviewed district-wise input subsidy disbursement position during a video-conferencing with Collectors of 29 districts.

As of now, 15 districts have been affected by drought, 24 by pest attack and 19 by unseasonal rains.

According to State Government’s assessment, about 8.5 lakh hectare crop area has been affected by the three disasters hitting farmers this year. The State Government not only issued notifications on the input subsidy, it has also released Rs 718.5 crore to Collectors of 29 affected districts during October-November.

As per the assessment, Boudh, Dhenkanal, Jajpur, Keonjhar, Khurda and Nayagarh have been affected by drought, pest attack and unseasonal rain, whereas 17 districts were hit by two disasters. Remaining six districts were affected by a single disaster. Malkangiri is the only district to have escaped any damage.

Outlook Speakout Awards: Naveen gets the Best Administrator Award

Leaving behind chief ministers of five states for the ‘Outlook Speakout’ awards, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik received the Best Administrator award from former President Pranab Mukherjee at the Outlook Speakout award function in New Delhi.

Accepting the award Patnaik had said, “It is a proud moment of all of us; I dedicate this award to the four crore people of Odisha. We are on the right path. I will get satisfaction when our Odisha becomes the number one State in the country.”

The State’s ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) held grand reception for Patnaik on his return here from New Delhi on the next day.

Patnaik was among Chief Ministers, Maharashtra’s Devendra Fadnavis, West Bengal’s Mamta Banerjee, Tripura’s Manik Sarkar, Bihar’s Nitish Kumar and Karnataka’s Siddaramaiah, nominated for the award, instituted by the Outlook publication group under the category of Best Administrator.

However, Patnaik became the winner as the Best Administrator in the country for his good work during floods and cyclones like Phailin and Hudhud that devastated Odisha many a time during his 18 years of rule.

Polavaram heat in Odisha Assembly

A day after Telengana Deputy Chief Minister said that his state backs Odisha against the Polavaram project in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha’s Leader of Opposition (LoP) Narasingha Mishra had slammed the BJD Government, saying it is only doing politics on the issue.

The Congress veteran alleged that the state government is trying to find an escape route on the Polavaram issue as it does not have any concrete information on what would be the exact impact on the State if the Polavaram project is constructed.

He said the BJD should not be delighted over Telangana’s support as a victory as the matter is still pending before the Supreme Court.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging not to allow construction of the multipurpose Polavaram Project till all the pending issues are not settled in the Supreme Court.

“It is unfortunate that the construction of the Project is going on at a rapid pace despite the pendency of the matter in the honourable Supreme Court and despite my previous letters on the subject,” the Chief Minister’s letter read.

Naveen had also mentioned that the project does not satisfy norms to become a national project even as the Centre has given this status to the project.

“I would like to mention here that though the Polavaram Project has been declared as National Project in Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014, The Polavaram Project does not qualify to be considered as a National Project as it does not satisfy the National Standards/Norms for declaration as a National project,” he added.

The Chief Minister also apprised the Prime Minister that the Andhra Pradesh Government has unilaterally taken up the project even before obtaining the clearance of Central Water Commission (CWC) on plans and design that are in violation of GWDT Award and as such not agreed by the States of Chhattisgarh and Odisha.

BJP’s Mission 120 for 2019 polls

As the claim seems to be a day dream for the saffron party, but still a party making such claims challenging BJD’s 17 year-rule had been in the headlines this year.

Amused over the party’s performance in the Panchayat polls, the BJP fueled up with brute power make such an claim to grab 120 seats in the upcoming 2019 Assembly elections.

The Saffron party also hosted a three-day National Executive Meeting at the state capital from April 14 to 16 showcasing their prowess this year.

The meeting was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP chief Amit Shah, Chief ministers and Deputy Chief Ministers of all BJP ruled states including Yogi Adityanath of UP and 325 national executive members.

Besides Political turns and twists, here are some other happenings and occurrences of 2017

 The transformation of Jaga-Kalia to Jaga and Kalia

In a recent development, health condition of Odisha’s separated conjoined twin Jaga, the doctors at the Delhi AIIMS Hospital performed a skin grafting surgery on his operated skull.

Jaga’s skin grafting surgery that involved removing skin from one area of the body and transplanting it to his head was done after 2 months from the final date of cranial separation surgery. The skin transplantation took nearly 2 to 3 hours.

Reportedly, the procedure of discharge from the hospital has started while Kalia has begun to show considerable signs of improvement.

Kalia was undergoing treatment at the general ward after being discharged from neonatal ICU, informed hospital sources.

Worth mentioning here that the twins were successfully separated following two phases of marathon surgery by doctors at AIIMS Hospital in New Delhi on October 25 and 26.

A team of doctors comprising of 30 specialists from the institute’s neurosurgery, neuro-anaesthesia and plastic surgery departments had undertaken the operation.

Odisha Government had extended total financial aid for the treatment of the conjoined twins.

Death of Nayagarh conjoined twins Ganga-Jamuna

The conjoined twins Ganga-Jamuma of Sarankul in Nayagarh district passed away on December 21.

Father of the twin girls who were joined at stomach and chest said the duo breathed their last on the night as their heart stopped functioning.

Ganga-Jamuna were under strict medical supervision in the ICU of Sishu Bhawan after CT scan report revealed that they share one heart and liver.

Earlier, Dr Saroj Satpathy, Superintendent of Sishu Bhawan had also informed that the heart of the twins had some congenital problems.

Expressing deep grief over the death of the twins, Odisha Health Minister Pratap Jena said doctors tried their best to save the lives of the babies. Jena cited that the main cause of their death is due to congenital abnormalities of the common heart shared by the twins.

The twins had been born to Kishore and Sumitra Dutta of Sarankul in Nayagarh district on December 1 at a private nursing home. They were shifted to Sishu Bhawan the next day.

The State Government had assured the couple to bear all medical expenses for the treatment of the twins.

Dengue Malaise

The number of dengue infected persons in Odisha is increased with the number of affected persons crossing 400 and claiming two lives this year.

According to reports, as many as 402 persons have been tested positive for the dengue virus in the state. It had claimed two lives– one patient from neighbouring Jharkhand and other one of Basudevpur area in Bhadrak district, who was infected in Bengaluru.

Out of total 402 infected persons, 67 were tested positive in Bhadrak district, 61 in Cuttack district and 59 in Balasore district.

Similarly, 35 persons have been infected in Khordha, 34 in Jajpur, 24 in Puri, 20 in Jagatsinghpur districts respectively.

Meanwhile, Kendrapara has registered 20, Ganjam 13, Keonjhar 10, Dhenkanal 11, Bolangir six and Mayurbhanj five cases of dengue.

While Nayagarh, Sonepur, Kalahandi, Angul and Bargarh registered three cases of the mosquito-borne disease each, Nuapada and Kandhamal witnessed two cases.

Boudh, Rayagada, Sundargarh and Deogarh districts recorded with single case each.

However, 12 patients had come to the state from neighbouring states.

Swine Flu menace

The Swine Flu virus had wreaked havoc in the state claiming as many as 52 lives. The total number of H1N1-infected persons in the state had reached to 392 out of 1329 swab samples tested this year.

 

 

 

Mysterious killing of sheep in Cuttack’s Niali

A mysterious animal wreaked havoc in Niali block of Cuttack district this year with over 60 sheep killed by the predator so far in the area.

The sheep were found dead in pools of blood in their shed with pugmarks of the predator spotted in the shed.

Despite numerous efforts made by forest officials and veterinary teams, the animal is still at large and continues to haunt the locality with fresh killings.

 

West Bengal winning the Rasagolla fight

West Bengal got the GI tag for ‘Bengal’ Rasagolla. A GI or geographical indication is a registration of a product as having originated in a geographical area.

Odias are not very happy about this GI tag because at some point the sweet rasagolla had become a bitter battle and will be fought with vehemence.

Rasagolla is used in rituals of Puri temple. Generally temple rituals around India are most resistant to change. The specific ritual in which rasagolla is used is called ‘Niladri Bije’ that takes place when after the car festival Lord Jagannath offers rasagolla to calm down his consort Goddess Laxmi angry at the Lord going on a sojourn without taking her along. The ritual ‘Niladri Bije’ is mentioned in the record of rights compiled by Laxman Panda in 1955-56. The record of rights was prepared much before the issue of GI tag was raised. Given that temple priests rarely agree to change traditions, current traditions are a reasonable ground to believe that Rasagolla has been used in Puri temple for a long time.

Fans outcry for India-Sri Lanka T20 match ticket unavailability

Tension prevailed outside Barabati Stadium after cricket fans broke barricades as they fail to get tickets for the recently concluded India-Sri Lanka T20 International in Cuttack.

The disappointed cricket fans who had gathered in large numbers to buy tickets at the counters outside the stadium broke barricades and pelted stones at the ticket counter. Later, police were deployed outside the stadium to maintain law and order.

According to cricket fans, not even a single ticket was sold on the day while the announcement about non-availability of tickets at the counter was made very late by officials of the private bank entrusted with the duty.

All total 10,362 tickets were sold to the OCA affiliated clubs and institutions on December 15 and 16, while 9,130 tickets were sold online for two days on November 20 and 21.

The era of Asian Athletics Meet and Olly

India ended the Asian Athletics Championships 2017 on a high at the Kalinga Stadium in the state capital. In a stunning show of dominance, the hosts bagged five gold medals on the final day to top the medal tally for first time in the history of the Asian Athletics Championships, pushing China to second spot.

The hosts ended with 29 medals (12 gold, 5 silver and 12 bronze), their highest-ever haul. Govindan Lakshmanan, heptathlete Swapna Barman, javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra and the men’s and women’s 4x400m relay teams continued to rain gold medals for India.

While Swapna emerged victorious in the heptathlon, Lakshmanan won his second gold medal in the Championships. After winning the men’s 5000m gold on the opening day, he finished the Championships on a high winning the 10000m. Lakshmanan’s countryman Gopi Thonakal won silver in the event.

Olly, the mascot of 22nd Asian Athletics Championship-2017 emerged as a celebrity with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s blessings and sparked a self mania among the youth mass during the time.

Bhubaneswar emerges as ideal sporting hub with Hockey World League 2017

At the just-concluded Hockey Men’s World League Final at Bhubaneswar, there was ample praise from officials for the conduct of the tournament.

This time around, the entire city was filled with hoardings welcoming the World League. At the stadium the crowds swelled and yelled, even when India were not playing. Up to 9,000 people were in attendance, in mostly cool weather.

The applause for the defeated German team in the bronze medal game against India was noteworthy.

 

RP Sharma’s appointment as Odisha DGP

In a major reshuffle in the senior most IPS cadre, Director General (DG) of Odisha Police, KB Singh was replaced by Dr Rajendra Prasad Sharma who was then serving as the DG of State Vigilance.

 

Senior IPS KB Singh was posted as the Chairman of OSRTC.

 

On the other hand, DG (Crime Branch) BK Sharma was posted as the DG (Prisons) and IPS officer Arun Ray was posted as the ADG, Police Headquarters.

 

Appointment of Justice Dipak Misra as Chief Justice of India

Justice Dipak Misra was sworn in as the Chief Justice of India (CJI in a brief ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan. He was administered the oath of office by President Ram Nath Kovind.

Misra is the 45th chief justice of the Supreme Court and has 14-month tenure till October 2018. He took over from chief justice J.S. Khehar.

Born in 1953, 63-year-old Misra joined the bar in 1977 and began his judicial career at the Orissa high court as an additional judge in 1996.

Misra was then transferred to the Madras high court following which he assumed charge as chief justice of the Patna high court in 2009. He was named chief justice of Delhi high court in 2010.

In 2011, Misra was elevated to the Supreme Court, where he has been part of several noteworthy cases and judgments including the historic one on 30 July, 2015, when the apex court was opened at 3am to decide on Yakub Memon’s appeal against his execution. Memon was convicted in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case.

Misra also headed the bench that upheld the death sentence awarded in the Nirbhaya gang rape case.

He had also played an active role in the crackdown on child pornography websites.

His views on nationalism have been highlighted through his guidelines on the mandatory playing of the national anthem in theatres. Apart from all this, Misra had addressed the plight of farmers in various farmer suicide cases. The introduction of ‘Nyaya Sanyog’ (Legal Assistance Establishments) in states to provide legal access to the poor also bears his imprimatur.

Bomikhal Flyover collapse

At least one person died and many others were injured after a portion of an under construction flyover collapsed at Bomikhal area in Odisha capital.

The deceased died on the spot, has been identified as Satya Patnaik (40), a resident of Jharpada area was returning back home carrying his daughter Shital (10) from her dance class on a motorcycle when the accident occurred.

The father-daughter duo was rushed to Capital hospital where Satya was declared brought dead by the attending doctor.

According to reports, around 15 persons have been injured in the mishap.

Assistant Engineer Kishore Rout and Project Manager Vipul Chakraborty was arrested.

Kunduli Gangrape

A ninth class student of Sorisapadar village under Potangi police limits in Koraput district was allegedly gang raped by four security personnel while she was returning from the Kunduli Haat (market) on October 10.

While the incident had created a huge public outcry in the state, police are still clueless of the rapists.

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