Kin of freedom fighter neglected, Odisha govt offers support

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government has offered support to the family members of the late freedom fighter Laxmi Indira Panda, who were neglected after felicitation by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Raj Bhawan.

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, after getting information about the separation of the family members after they boarded wrong trains, directed to ensure their safe return.

Two officials of the state government, are escorting Sujata Panda to Jeypore from Bhubaneswar. Sujata was found abandoned in Balasore after she boarded the wrong train. Her husband Surendra Panda also reached home safe. However, their son Babula Panda is still missing.

Notably, Laxmi Indira Panda’s son Surendra, his wife Sujata, grandson Babula and son-in-law Bulu Sahoo had come to the Raj Bhavan on Sunday where Prime Minister Narendra Modi felicitated them.

Indira’s kin had taken loan of Rs 3000 to meet their expenses to attend the felicitation ceremony. Unfortunately, all of them were parted from one another at Bhubaneswar railway station while boarding the Hirakhand Express to return home.

According to Sujata, two representatives of Modi Govt had paid them onward journey tickets and promised return journey expenses too, but did not oblige later.

Later, Sujata while trying to end her life over agony of not knowing the whereabouts of her family members, was rescued at Baleswar station by some good Samaritans, who also handed her over to the Railway Police.

Meanwhile, BJP has expressed deep regret over the incident.

“It’s a very unfortunate incident. We don’t want to give any explanation. We express regret for what happened. The people in charge, failed in their responsibilities. We will look into the matter and ensure such things don’t occur again,” said BJP state vice-president Samir Mohanty.