Anger mounting, the situation in Western Odisha over the issue of demand for a permanent High Court bench is turning from bad to worse. With Government offices closed, the agitating lawyers in Sambalpur would enforce closure of all banks, insurance offices and Central Government offices for two days from Thursday. This was decided on Wednesday by the Action Committee of Sambalpur District Bar Association (SDBA).
As people are expressing solidarity with the agitating lawyers, problems of the general public are also mounting. The closure of offices has added to problems of undertrials who cannot apply for bail.
Sambalpur Circle Jail, which has a capacity to lodge 541 inmates, has 655 at present. Jail Superintendent P B Mohapatra said about 50 inmates are waiting to be released on bail. The situation is similar in sub-jails under Sambalpur Circle Jail across the region where the lawyers have paralysed judiciary over the demand. Many students are waiting to avail caste and income certificates, but have no option but to wait.
A police officer in the district said they are helplessly watching the situation turn volatile. The State Government should understand the gravity of the situation and find out ways to resolve the impasse, he said. Meanwhile, all eyes are now on the meeting of the Central Action Committee (CAC) of the All- Western Odisha Bar Association (AWOBA), which will meet at Jharsuguda on Thursday, to chalk out the future course of agitation.