Five-hour reign of rogue state  

During the hartal called by BJD, students, women and even ambulances were attacked by marauding party workers

Published: 19th September 2017 03:06 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th September 2017 11:52 AM   |  A+A-

BJD workers damaging a private vehicle during hartal in Bhubaneswar on Monday | Express

By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: The ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) activists unleashed a virtual reign of terror in many parts of the State, including the Capital City, during what the party called a peaceful five-hour hartal to protest the abnormal hike in the fuel prices.The public was caught unawares as they hit the roads in the morning to face a complete bandh-like situation and the wrath of BJD activists, who brandishing party flags, forced a complete prevention of vehicular traffic and did not even allow ambulances carrying the sick to move.

There were many instances and visuals galore of the unruly BJD workers assaulting commuters and damaging vehicles who questioned their action while the police chose to maintain a complete indifferent attitude. Neither did they dissuade the ruling party activists from blocking the vehicular traffic nor come to the rescue of the people who were victims of such hooliganism in the name of protest against fuel price hike.Assured to be a peaceful hartal for five hours from 7 am to 12 noon, impact of the oneupmanship was so intense that the normal activities throughout the State came to a complete standstill, a scene reminiscent of a total bandh.

While the conduct of BJD activists has come for all-round criticism from across the State, the most significant condemnation came from none other than party MP from Kendrapara Baijayant Panda who described it as “shameful” and demanded action against “the goons” who perpetrated it. “I'm ashamed & angered by this. Biju Babu would have disapproved this,” Panda tweeted while posting two contrasting visuals to justify his point.

Meanwhile, Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, against whom the entire exercise was targeted, demanded stringent action against the hooliganistic behaviour and said, “I have no complaints if you (BJD) abuse me but taking it out on the public is totally uncalled for,” he tweeted.The role of police also came in for huge criticism for their lack of action and indifference. It was best demonstrated when the men in khaki offered little resistance to the marauding BJD activists who, in full public gaze, broke the police protection ring and reportedly assaulted the BJP Krushak Morcha members who were peacefully demonstrating near Raj Bhawan demanding farm loan waiver during the day.

Vox populi: The worst bandh
What was supposed to be a “peaceful” agitation turned so disruptive on Monday that unruly BJD workers misbehaved with women, harassed commuters, damaged vehicles and did not even spare ambulances carrying critical patients.

Shameful, says Baijayant
Violence by Biju Janata Dal (BJD) workers during the five-hour hartal on Monday has come in for all round condemnation including senior party MP Baijayant Panda. Panda described the activities of BJD workers as shameful. 


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