Normal life came to a standstill as BJP on Wednesday observed 12-hour bandh in Kalahandi district demanding ouster of Minister of State for Home Dibya Shankar Mishra for his alleged links with Gobinda Sahu, the key accused in school teacher Mamita Meher's disappearance and reported murder.
A group of women from BJP Mahila Morcha also tried to barge into the residence of Mishra at Bhawanipatna and pelted eggs at his house. To avert any untoward incident, a platoon of police force was deployed near the Minister's house. Besides, tension flared up at Naktiguda after a face-off between BJD supporters and agitating BJP workers.
However, the situation was brought under control after BJD workers left the place. During the bandh, BJP workers resorted to picketing and demonstrations at different strategic locations across the district. Sources said the bandh was total in Bhawanipatna, Junagarh, Jaipatna, Kesinga, Narla, M.Rampur, Dharamgarh and Lanjigarh.
All business establishments, educational institutions and offices remained closed on the day. Vehicles remained off the roads as BJP workers staged blockade and protest by burning tyres.
At few places, BJP workers resorted to picketing in front of government offices. Local BJP leaders said the Minister should also be brought within the purview of investigation into Mamita case. Besides, a high-level probe should be initiated to find out Mishra’s relation with Sahu.
Protests were also staged by BJP at Berhampur in Ganjam and Sundargarh’s Rourkela. The agitators burnt effigies of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Mishra.
They accused the CM of shielding the Minister despite his alleged links with prime accused Sahu. In Balangir, over a hundred BJP workers led by MP Sangeeta Kumari Singhdeo and former minister KV Singhdeo gheraoed the SP office on the day demanding CBI probe into Mamita case. Police forces were deployed to bring the situation under control.
The BJP has called Balangir bandh over the issue on Thursday. Meanwhile, Congress Legislature Party leader and Balangir MLA Narasingha Mishra met Mamita's family members at Jharni village. The Congress leader said the government should conduct inquiry as per the demand of Mamita’s family members.
"There are allegations and some proof about the close relationship between the key accused and the Minister of State for Home. This should be probed," he said. In a tweet, Narasingha said the perpetrators of the crime should not be spared no matter how high or mighty they are.