Sambalpur: The 12-hour bandh call given by Koshal State Coordination Committee (KSCC) for creation of a separate state today evoked mixed response in this region.
The KSCC has been demanding a separate state with ten Western Odisha districts. While the bandh call failed to evoke any response in Sambalpur, the shutdown was felt in Bargarh and Jharsuguda districts.
Markets, schools and colleges, banks, courts, government offices, shops and business establishments remained opened in Sambalpur. The vehicular movement was also normal in the Sambalpur town despite the bandh call.
Though KSCC appealed the people to observe bandh on August 26 over separate statehood, many organisation of Sambalpur had requested the people not to take part in the bandh.
“We oppose the word ‘Koshali’. The language of the region is known as ‘Sambalpuri’. However, efforts are being made to change the name of the language to ‘Koshali’ on the pretext of a separate Koshal state. We do not oppose the demand of creation of a separate state. But, we cannot accept the change of the name of the language,” said joint convener of Hirakhand Samukhya, Deepak Panda.
President of the Sambalpur Bar Association, Atanu Ghosh also reiterated the same sentiment and said “The people of Sambalpur decided to abstain from the bandh. We extended our support to the people of Sambalpur.”
However, normal life was paralysed in Bargarh and Jharsuguda due to the bandh.
Schools and colleges, banks and financial institutions, state and central government offices, shops and business establishments remained closed in the two districts.
Movement of public transport was also hit due to the agitation in these two districts.
The bandh call evoked partial response in Deogarh district. Bandh supporters obstructed movement of vehicles on the NH-49 in Deogarh for around an hour in the morning. Ten bandh supporters were arrested from the spot.