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Rediff.com  » News » Normal life hit by Odisha bandh, 1,500 detained

Normal life hit by Odisha bandh, 1,500 detained

Last updated on: September 10, 2012 16:51 IST

Over 1,500 people were taken into preventive custody on Monday during the bandh called by the Congress in Odisha which hit normal life and disrupted train and road traffic.

The bandh, called in protest against alleged police crackdown on party men during a Congress rally on September 6, was peaceful, police sources said.

State Congress president Niranjan Patnaik, Leader of Opposition Bhupinder Singh and former chief minister Hemanand Biswal were taken into preventive custody, the sources said.

The Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee president claimed complete success for the bandh.

"It shows people are against the Biju Janata Dal government headed by Naveen Patnaik." he said.

Preventive arrests were made at Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Rourkela, Dhenkanal, Balasore, Rayagada, Sambalpur, Bolangir, Phulbani, Angul, Talcher and almost all districts.

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 the East Coast Railway said.

Buses, trucks and auto-rickshaw remained off the roads as Congress workers blocked roads at many places, 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.

Several shops, business establishments and commercial centres were closed in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Berhampur, Balasore, Sambalpur, Bolangir, Rourkela, Baripada, Bhadrak and Angul.

Schools, colleges and educational institutions were also closed in most areas.

In the state capital, nearly 51 platoons of policemen (nearly 1,700 personnel) were deployed while vigil was maintained near government buildings, vital installations and sensitive locations.

Mining activities were affected in several places including Sundargarh, Angul and Keonjhar districts.

Work remained unaffected at the Rourkela Steel Plant and units of the National Aluminium Company Ltd, company sources said.

In the port town of Paradip, port operations were normal, while work in the plants of IFFCO, Paradeep Phosphates Ltd and other industrial units remained unaffected.

Leaders of the ruling BJD claimed that people did not venture outdoors fearing violence.

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