Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bolangir, Dec 23:
The 12-hour Bolangir bandh called by the Traders Association of to protest the deteriorating law and order situation in the western Odisha district headquarters town today was total.
Shops and business establishments downed their shutters while all government and private offices remained closed and vehicles remained off the roads in the town. Bandh supporters persuaded the few shops which had opened in the morning to shut down.
Locals have alleged of complete collapse of law and order mechanism in Bolangir town and the district as a whole. There have been several attacks on traders and common people by criminals in the recent past, they have pointed out.
While a businessman was attacked on December 19 by motor bike borne miscreants and money was looted from him, Rs 8 lakh was looted from another while he was coming from the bank a few days back. Similarly, a house was looted in broad day light and its occupants attacked with arms. The police has failed to crack any of these cases and has not been able to provide security to the citizens, alleged locals.
“We have called the 12-hour bandh as the police have completely failed to provide security to the citizens. The police haven’t called us for any discussions nor it has been able apprehend the culprits. It has become very difficult for common people; their lives are at risk. So we have called for a bandh in protest,” said Tripurari Panigrahi, secretary, Zilla Banika Sangh.
“I had tried to contact the DG on the deteriorating law and order situation here, but he could not. I had held discussions with the local police authorities, but the situation is becoming worse day by day. No one has the right to disturb peace in the area. The Congress will support the bandh call,” said Narsingha Mishra, senior Congress leader and local MLA.
“The police is investigating the cases. You see investigation is a time taking process. Culprits can be nabbed only on the basis of evidence, said Deepak Kumar,” SP Bolangir.