Odisha Sun Times Bureau.IANS
Sambalpur, Aug 26:
Normal life was disrupted in many parts of western Odisha as over a hundred organisations observed a 12-hour bandh in support of their demand for a separate state of Koshal state comprising 11 districts in the region today.
While shops and establishments remained closed in most areas, movement of vehicular traffic too remained disrupted in many places in western Odisha districts in response to the bandh call given by the Koshal State Coordination Committee.
Activists of more than 100 non-government and political organisations blocked roads with burning tyres in many towns including Bolangir, Sambalpur, Bargarh and Rourkela, a senior official told IANS.
In Sambalpur, Jharsuguda, Balangir, Nuapada, Sundargarh, Boudh, Bargarh, Nuapada, Kalahandi, Sonepur districts and Athmallik region of Angul district, members of outfits demanding a separate Koshal state picketed in front of government and private offices, bus stands and railway stations, affecting normal life.
Members of the Koshal Kranti Dal (KKD), holding banners and placards, picketed at the Sambalpur railway station disrupting movement of trains.
Rail services were hit briefly at Sambalpur road railway station but have now become normal, said Jyoti Prakash Mishra, chief public relation officer (CPRO) of East Coast Railway.
The bandh’s effect was also felt in Rourkela, Jharsuguda and Balangir towns.
“We have been demanding a separate Koshala state comprising 11 western districts because the region has always been neglected by both central and state government,” said Bunde Dharua, executive president of the Kosala Kranti Dal.
Supporters of the demand took out a bike rally in Balangir last evening exhorting people to extend their support to the demand for a separate state.
The region, known as Kosala, is poor and backward, the protesters said.