Tuesday, May 8, 2012

West Odisha bandh hits life WEDNESDAY, 09 MAY 2012 00:02 PNS | SAMBALPUR/ BHAWANIPATNA/ BALANGIR HITS: 15 ·

 Bhubaneswar http://www.dailypioneer.com/templates/ja_teline_iv/images/arrow.png West Odisha bandh hits life
WEDNESDAY, 09 MAY 2012 00:02
HITS: 15
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The western Odisha bandh called by the Central Action Committee of the Western Odisha Lawyers’ Association in support of the demands of the Sambalpur lawyers for arrest of district collector Mrinalini Darswal and judicial probe into the April 23 conflict passed off peacefully in ten western Odisha districts on Tuesday, barring an unpleasant incident in Dharmagarh in Kalahandi district where the agitators locked the office of the sub-collector when she was present in the office.
While members of the Sambalpur District Bar Association sat in dharna before the office of the Collector and the Revenue Divisional Commissioner, schools, colleges, business establishments, Government offices, banks and courts remained closed during the 12-hour bandh.
“However, looking into the interest of the people and the festive season due to marriages, transport system including buses and trains were spared from the bandh,” Pramod Rath, president of the Sambalpur district Bar, said. Several other organisations and political groups of the area have also come forward to lend their support.
Judicial activity in Cuttack were paralysed as lawyers of the city, including those of the High Court, boycotted courts following a call given by the Odisha High Court Bar Association in support of the cause of the western Odisha lawyers.
Following the incident on April 23, Sambalpur continues in the grip of tension with advocates and Government officials locking horns with each other.
In Kalahandi district, markets remained closed at Bhawanipatna, the district headquarters as well as other blocks since morning.
While buses remained off the road, passengers were seen waiting at the bus-stops under scorching heat. The lawyers picketed at the State Bank of India and other nationalised banks and Government offices. They boycotted court work for which the court remained closed for the entire day.
Kalahandi Bar Association members demonstrated before the Collector’s office and demanded a judicial inquiry into the April 23 incident with the arrest of the  Sambalpur Collector. Police forces were deployed at each square in the town to ward off any possible untoward incident. Reports from other blocks were still awaited.
The bandh also passed off peacefully with no reports of any untoward incident in Balangir district.
Supporting the call, members of Balangir District Bar Association had given  a Balangir bandh call on Tuesday.
Shops and other business establishments remained closed. However, buses were plying. The agitating lawyers staged dharna before the Collectorate.
“We condemn the attack on advocates in Sambalpur. We demand action against the Sambalpur Collector and we demand a judicial inquiry into the incident,” said advocate Ashok Mahanty.
Massive police deployments were made all over western Odisha including Sambalpur, Bargarh, Jharsuguda, Sundargarh, Kalahandi, Rourkela, Dharmagarh, Balangir, Bhawanipatna and other small towns to avert any untoward incident. The bandh was almost peaceful, police sources said.

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