Bargarh: Locals, observing 12-hour bandh in Bargarh town over a city hospital demand, got into a scuffle with police on Monday.
According to sources, the locals blocked the road and staged dharna in front of the old district headquarters hospital in the town while demanding that it be converted into a city hospital.
Following information, local BJD MLA Debash Acharya, district collector Jyoti Ranjan Pradhan and SP Padmini Sahu arrived at the dharna site and requested the agitators to withdraw the stir. When the agitators refused budge from their stand, they left the area.
As the vehicular traffic came to a grinding halt due to the blockade, police asked the agitators to vacate the area. This led to a scuffle between the agitators and police. The incident turned violent when the agitators pelted police with stones.
They fled the area after additional police force was deployed in the area.
Talking to the media, the agitators said that it will become difficult for them to carry critical patients to new district headquarters hospital, which is about 14 km from the Bargarh town.
“We, therefore, urge the state government to run the old district headquarters hospital as a city hospital so that the people in the town will be able to avail quick treatment. As Bargarh town has a population of more than 2 lakh, a hospital in the town is essential,” they pointed out.
Notably, BJP leader and Bargarh MP Suresh Pujari on Sunday had requested Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to take necessary steps to convert the district headquarters hospital (DHH) into a city hospital with adequate doctors and para-medical staff with round-the-clock service.