By not transferring the Collector, who controls the Police, the government has patronized to arrest of as many as 18 lawyers of Sambalpur on the basis of her FIR.
We have earlier shown that the acrimony between the Collector and the lawyers of Sambalpur having gone to the Police, the Collector should be transferred from the district immediately as otherwise the police cannot act impartially, as in the system, Collector is the boss over the Police in a district.
In protest against the mass arrest of lawyers, a motorcycle rally hit the streets of Sambalpur to which, as in the Bandh on Wednesday, the general public has extended complete support.
But the agitation against officer-raj has not stayed limited to Sambalpur any more. It has hit the High Court also.
The High Court Bar has held an emergency meeting and resolved to seek action against the Collector for misbehavior with the Sambalpur Bar members. It has called upon all the Bar Associations of Orissa to stop working for a day in solidarity with the Sambalpur Bar and has decided to take stock on Monday to finalize further course of action.
People of Orissa are severely affected by apathetic administration and any credible movement against officer-raj is likely to fetch public support and the lawyers are best equipped to reach the people.
The way the matter proceeds, it portends massive loss of litigant time in whole of the state if the Collector is not transferred immediately. She being the complainant against the lawyers of Sambalpur, it is ethically incorrect to keep her as the Collector in that district, notwithstanding the strong support she gets from the IAS Officers Association.
In public interest, the Chief Minister should stall the hike in registration fee till provisions are made to free the fee fixing from arbitrariness and transfer the lady Collector from the district without any delay so that normalcy could be restored.