Freedom fighters go on fast demanding better road (Lead, superseding earlier story)

August 15th, 2008 - 7:39 pm ICT by IANS  

Bargarh (Orissa), Aug 15 (IANS) As the country celebrated its 62nd Independence Day Friday, two octogenarian freedom fighters in Orissa along with hundreds of villagers joined a day-long fast here demanding a better road to their village. Chaitanya Sahu, 87, Dayanidhi Nayak, 84, along with hundreds of residents of Panimora village in Bargarh district, some 400 km from state capital Bhubaneswar, were on fast demanding repair of a three kilometre stretch of road leading to their village.

Sahu and Nayak were among 32 residents of the village who were jailed in 1942 during the Quit India movement.

“We have launched protests several times in the past demanding solutions to our problems. We have submitted memorandums along with the villagers to the local administration but nothing has happened,” Sahu told IANS.

“The district administration had assured us two years ago that the village road will be improved under the Pradhan Mantri Grama Sadak Yojana (Prime Minister Rural Roads Project) but nothing has happened yet,” he said.

District administration officials were not available for comment.

Panimora, with a population of 3,000 people is known as the village of freedom fighters. Every morning, the residents begin their day by paying homage to a statue of Mahatma Gandhi installed at the entrance to their village.

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