For the second consecutive day, the advocates of Balangir paralysed the functioning of the municipal office by sitting in front of it demanding setting up of a High Court bench in Balangir.
While the lawyers of other Western Odisha districts are demanding the bench to be set up in any place of the region, the advocates here are firm on their demand for the bench in Balangir. At an all-party meeting on Wednesday, the Balangir lawyers decided to boycott the forthcoming civic poll in the district over the demand.
Earlier, the Balangir Bar Association had withdrawn itself from the Western Odisha Bar Association (WOBA) to fight its own battle for establishment of the bench in Balangir.
Organisations in Balangir including Citizens Committee, Balangir Action Committee, District Merchant Association, Samajwadi Party have also extended their support to the decision of the Bar Association. Patnagarh, Titlagarh and Kantabanji bar associations have also decided to boycott the election on the issue.
As the lawyers in Balangir staged demonstration in front of the municipal office, no one could file nomination for the municipal polls.
President of Balangir Bar Association Binayak Mishra said, “Balangir enjoyed high court bench during the British rule up to 1948 and even today Balangir district judge has been empowered as the ex-officio registrar of high court. So there are no legal problem relating to setting up high court bench in Balangir.”
Tripurari Panigrahi, president of Balangir Merchant Association, said they had called a bandh over the demand on August 24.