Bhubaneswar: A 12-hour Odisha bandh call by the Congress and hartal by the BJP over the death of Kunduli ‘gang rape’ victim affected normal life across the state today.
Workers of the two parties staged road blockades at various junctions across the state affecting vehicular movement. Commuters faced inconvenience as buses stayed off the road in major cities and towns.
School, colleges, shops and business establishments remained closed in view of the bandh. Policemen were deployed at various chhaks to avoid any untoward incident.
More than 20 members of the BJP Mahila Morcha and some leaders of the saffron party were taken into preventive custody after they tried to barge into the State Secretariat.
Similarly, scores of Congress workers were detained while attempting to gherao DGP office in Cuttack. Some Congress workers reportedly tore posters of CM Naveen Patnaik at Master canteen here.
Several Congress leaders and workers this morning staged a rail roko at the Bhubaneswar railway station. Similar scenes were also witnessed at Sambalpur and Bhadrak railway stations.
Some Congress workers reportedly resorted to violence in Cuttack damaging several vehicles during the bandh. Likewise, several BJP workers broke chairs at the DRDA office in Jagatsinghpur district while observing hartal.
A clash erupted between BJP and BJD workers at Marchikot Chhak in Puri. Some BJP workers were seen tearing and burning BJD’s party flag after the clash.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik reached state secretariat around 11.30 am amid tight security.
On the other hand, Koraput-Srikakulam division of CPI (Maoist) supported the bandh and released an audio tape demanding transfer of senior police officials of Koraput district besides calling for a 48-hour bandh.
Notably, a minor tribal girl of Sorisapadar village, who was allegedly gang raped by a group of security personnel on October 10 last year when she was returning from Kunduli market near the village in Koraput, committed suicide at her house on January 22.