SAMBALPUR: The 12-hour Sambalpur bandh called by the BJP, Hanuman Jayanti Samanwaya Samiti (HJSS), VHP and Bajrang Dal on Thursday in protest against the arrest of former Sambalpur MLA Jayanarayan Mishra passed off peacefully amid tight security. Mishra was arrested after he wielded a sword during Hanuman Jayanti procession on Tuesday, violating the ban imposed by the district administration.
Normal life was paralysed as business and commercial establishments, educational and financial institutions, courts and Government offices remained closed for the day and vehicles including public transport were off the road. The protesters also squatted on railway tracks at the railway station here which delayed Sambalpur-Puri Intercity Express and Sambalpur-Rayagada Intercity Express by 40 minutes. The BJP workers also blocked NH-6, main roads and picketed at strategic locations across the city.
District BJP president Nauri Nayak thanked the people for their spontaneous response to the bandh call and said it reflected their support for Mishra. It was a mandate against the civil and police administration, he added.
Meanwhile, State BJP president KV Singhdeo, who reached Sambalpur on Thursday afternoon, could not meet Mishra in Sambalpur Circle Jail as the visiting hours were over. Talking to mediapersons, Singhdeo said the BJP would fight the case in court and raise the issue at right forum. After consulting the BJP Legal Cell, an application for Mishra’s bail would be made. “The Hanuman Jayanti procession is ceremonial and not intended to attack or hurt anybody. Only weapons which are involved in the rituals are displayed,” he said and thanked the locals for supporting the bandh.
He said since he could not meet Mishra, he discussed about his health condition with the Jailor as Mishra is a diabetes and blood pressure patient. The Jailor has assured his proper medical care, Singhdeo added.