Thursday October 4 2007 16:24 IST
BHUBANESWAR: Protestors have to pay for the damage they cause to private and public property, the Orissa High Court has said in a judgement.
A division bench of the high court at Cuttack gave the judgement Wednesday in response to a public interest petition filed by Chambara Soy, a resident of Gobarghati village in the coastal district of Jajpur, his lawyer Arupananda Das told IANS.
Soy in his petition had alleged that his son was seriously ill and had died subsequently as they could not take him to hospital because of a road blockade by protestors at the Kalinga Nagar industrial complex in the district.
Over 500 people had clashed with police at the industrial complex, 120 km from here, to protest the building of a boundary wall by Tata Steel on Jan 2 last year. Thirteen demonstrators and a policeman were killed in the violence.
Since then, the protestors had blocked the Daitari-Paradip highway. While hearing Soy's petition, the Orissa High Court in an interim order had directed the state government early this year to end the road blockade by March 9.
Now the division bench comprising justices B.P. Das and M.M Das Wednesday directed the state government to give Soy a compensation of Rs.100,000 and ordered the government to make legal provisions to recover the cost of the damage from the people who staged the road blockade, Arupananda Das said.
Expressing concern over the rising frequency of agitations and road blockades in the state, particularly by students, the judges also said that the state government should amend the Orissa Education Act to make the students accountable for the damage, the lawyer said.
The court asked the state government to issue instructions to schools and colleges to obtain undertakings from parents or guardians that they would pay for the loss caused by their children if they indulge in such activities, according to Das.
THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS