BHUBANEWAR: Normal life was thrown out of gear as Congress activists staged protest across Odisha to mark Bharat Bandh over hike in petrol and diesel prices.
Schools and colleges remained closed, while business and commercial establishments were also shut as party workers held protest in all districts.
Bandh paralysed transport services as buses and trucks remained off roads. Rail services were also affected due to the protest. As many as 12 trains were cancelled, while several others were regulated in the East Coast Railway (ECoR) Zone as activists staged 'Rail Roko' in various stations.
Barring stray incidents of violence, the bandh in the state remained peaceful, said police.
In Bhubaneswar, passengers had a tough time and crippled transport services. All vehicles were kept off roads for hours. Several passengers remained stranded at Baramunda bus stand and at the city railway station.
Vehicular movement on NH 16 and other areas came to a grinding halt as activists blockaded roads. They also staged demonstration in front of Secretariat on Sachivalaya Marg, and were seen offering flowers to commuters urging them to support bandh.
To avoid inconvenience, most of the government employees reached office before 9.30 am. Some ministers and MLAs were seen walking and riding pillion to the state Assembly.
In view of the bandh the Biju Patnaik University of Technology suspended its examinations for all professional courses on Monday. Apart from Bhubaneswar, massive protests paralysed normal life in various districts like Cuttack, Ganjam, Puri, Rayagada, Koraput, Nawarangpur, Sambalpur, etc.
Stray incidents of violence were reported from some parts of the state. Congress activists and supporters allegedly barged into the Tehsil Office in Kakatpur. The activists allegedly created disturbance in the office of District collector in Nawarangpur and Tehsil office in Remuna also.
A three-member panel headed by OPCC working president Chiranjib Biswal will look into these incidents, said Congress sources.