Bhubaneswar: Life was thrown out of gear in Odisha during the 24-hour Bharat Bandh on Wednesday. The strike was called by central trade unions and supported by Congress and Left parties.
Most trading establishments in the state remained closed and bus services were disrupted due to road blockades and picketing at many places.
In the twin cities of Cuttack and Bhubaneswar, thousands of passengers were stranded at Badambadi and Baramunda bus stands. Similarly, passengers were also stranded at the bus stands in Puri, Rourkela and Balasore, Bhawanipatna, Sambalpur, Rayagada and Balangir.
Around 18,000 private buses stayed off the roads in line with the decision by the All Odisha Private Bus Owner’s Association not to ply their vehicles for the safety of passengers.
Also, thousands of trucks were seen parked on both sides of National Highway-16.
Here’s a round up of the scene across Odisha:
Bhubaneswar: Trade union activists and Congress workers blocked NH-16 at Rasulgarh, Vani Vihar, Jayadev Vihar and CRP squares. Besides, Congress workers staged picketing at Master Canteen Square. Police later arrested several leaders including Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee president Niranjan Patnaik and Rama Chandra Khuntia.
All shops and business establishments downed their shutters at Janpath, Bapuji Nagar, Lewis Road, Cuttack Road, Saheed Nagar and Unit-IV areas.
The commissionerate police escorted ministers, officers and employees who arrived at Lok Seva Bhawan. As directed by the Home department, the employees reported at 9 am. The gates of the Lok Seva Bhawan were closed at 10.15 am.
In view of the bandh, the commissionerate police have deployed 15 platoons of police to maintain law and order situation.
Balasore: Agitators staged a picket at Station Bazar chhak. Tension ran high at the fish market following a face-off between the agitators and traders. Anticipating law and order situation, 15 platoons of police have been deployed at sensitive locations in the town.
Remuna: Agitators staged a road blockade on NH-16. Besides, protesters barred the the district judge from entering the court premises.
Angul: Trade union activists demonstrated in front of the NALCO and TTPC and NTPC plants.
Sundargarh district: Agitators blocked NH-143 and 215 at Bonai.
Rayagada district: Activists of AITUC and CPI-ML staged a road blockade near the over-bridge on the outskirts of Gunupur town.
Koraput: Congress and trade union activists staged a road blockade on NH-26 near the Sadar Police Station.
Deogarh: Protesters demonstrated in front of the office of the district collector.
Kendrapara: Congress workers led by Ganeswar Behera staged road blockade at Tini Muhani chhak. Four platoons of police have been deployed at several locations in the town.
Jagatsinghpur district: Uploading and unloading of cargo at Paradip Port was partially affected due to the demonstration by workers at four gates.
Bhadrak: Agitators locked the office of the district collector. Besides, they also blocked the road and staged picketing at Charampa and Banta.
Mayurbhanj district: Congress workers staged picketing at several places in Karanjia town and staged a road blockade on NH-49 at Jashipur.
Informing the media, the Kalahandi collector Parag Harshad Gavali said that the visit of the Governor Ganeshi Lal has been cancelled due to the bandh.