ROURKELA: Normal life in Sundargarh was hit due to the dawn-to-dusk bandh called by the Congress on Wednesday protesting removal of black scarves and stoles worn by women during the Chief Minister’s public meeting in the district recently. Vehicular traffic was disrupted at several places by the agitators.
At Sundargarh town, the bandh was near total with educational institutions, government offices, shops and district court complex remaining closed and commercial vehicles staying off the road.
Sundargarh District Congress Committee (SDCC) president, Dhusmanta Naik was among 29 Congressmen arrested for picketing. Naik demanded an unconditional apology from the Chief Minister and independent inquiry into the incident.
At Rourkela, the local unit of District Congress Committee president Biren Senapati, former Congress MLA Pravat Mohapatra, local unit Youth Congress president Prabod Das and 42 others were detained at the RN Pali police station. Five others were forwarded to court by Sector-7 police for vandalism in a school. Fifteen others were detained at Plant Site police station.
Shops and commercial establishments like banks and insurance offices were forced to close down while, government offices and educational institutions remained partly open. Two court complexes in Rourkela functioned normally with thin attendance, while movement of commercial vehicles was hit. Coal mining and transportation at Kulda mines of Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd in Hemgir block was also affected.
At least 15 Congressmen were arrested from Narendra Chowk of Bonai for blocking the NH-143. Congress protestors blocked the NH at three places for few hours. However, there was little impact in Rajgangpur town and the shutdown was near total in Birmitrapur town.
The shutdown evoked mixed response in 17 blocks of the district.