Normal life paralysed by Odisha bandh, 5000 detained
Bhubaneswar: Normal life was crippled across Odisha on Monday due to disruption in train and road traffic during a bandh called by Congress as over 5,000 partymen were taken into preventive custody.
The bandh, called in protest against alleged police crackdown on partymen during a Congress rally held in the Capital on September 6, was peaceful, police sources said.
Director General of Police Prakash Mishra said over 5,000 people were taken into preventive custody in different places.
Congress leaders, however, claimed that about 12,000 partymen were arrested while enforcing the bandh.
State Congress President Niranjan Patnaik, Leader of Opposition Bhupinder Singh and former chief minister Hemanand Biswal, were taken into preventive custody, the sources said.
Describing the bandh as a complete success, the OPCC president said "it drew spontaneous support and shows people want the BJD government headed by Naveen Patnaik out."
While about 18 trains, including eight express trains, were cancelled, over 15 trains were detained for several hours at Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Khurda Road, Berhampur, Puri and Sambalpur as bandh supporters went on dharna on the tracks, a spokesman of East Coast Railway said.
Buses, trucks and auto-rickshaw remained off the roads as Congress workers blocked roads at many places including highways, police sources said.
Bus services at Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Puri were suspended. A large number of passengers were stranded at railway stations and bus stands at many places.
Shops and business establishments were shut across the state including Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Berhampur, Balasore, Sambalpur and Rourkela.