Lawyers of Rourkela Bar Association along with leaders of different political parties closed down all Government offices at Rourkela on Wednesday, demanding setting up of HC bench here.
After leaders of BJD and two Left parties said they would not participate in the Rourkela Municipality election process, the Rourkela Bar Association members closed down the offices including that of Rourkela election officer RN Mishra.
President of the bar association Ramesh Bal said they waited for a day to get consent from all political parties before going ahead with the agitation. He said the bar association has taken an independent stand on the HC bench demand. Unlike other parts of the region where Central Action Committee (CAC) decided to continue the agitation till August 28, Government offices and courts at Rourkela will remain closed till August 31.
“We want the HC bench to be set up at Rourkela because as per the Pal Commission, it is the most suitable place having better rail and road links. Besides, air connectivity may be restored soon,” he said.
On the other hand, while sources said one nomination was filed by a Congress candidate on Tuesday, Rourkela Congress Committee president Nihar Ray claimed that the candidate was not from Congress.
At Sundargarh town, lawyers staged protests at the collectorate and municipality office.
Similarly, lawyers of Balangir, Patnagarh, Titilagarh and Kantabanji began their agitation over HC bench on Wednesday. While they closed down all Government offices in the district, local leaders decided to boycott the urban local body poll in Balangir.
Balangir MP and district president of BJD Kalikesh Narayan Singhdeo said the party will not file any nomination. District Congress Committee president Bhagaban Bagarty also added that his party will keep itself away from the poll process. Agitating lawyers locked the Government offices.
At Sambalpur, Government offices and courts remained closed for the second day on Wednesday. Central Government offices, educational and financial institutions have been exempted from the closure.
Central committee Rejects CM’s Plea
Sambalpur: The Central Action Committee (CAC) of All Western Odisha Bar Association on Wednesday rejected Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s appeal to call off the agitation over HC bench demand. Convenor of CAC Ashok Das said Naveen was trying to weaken the movement for HC bench and mislead people. He urged the Chief Minister to disband the CR Pal Commission and take visible steps for fulfilling their demand.