Pradeep Pattanayak

Tension unfolded at Tomando in Bhubaneswar when a scuffle ensued between the agitating members of the Odisha Drivers’ Association and the drivers from other states on Thursday. The situation came to such a pass that police had to intervene to bring the situation under control. 

The strike launched by the Odisha Drivers’ Association entered the second day on Thursday. The agitating members have been staging a sit-in on the National Highway near Tomando. Because of this, the trucks from other states were stranded yesterday. 

On Thursday morning when the drivers of other states tried to move, they were allegedly stopped by the agitating drivers. This led to a verbal duel between the two groups. Soon the situation snowballed into a scuffle, forcing the police to intervene. 

After police intervention, the situation became normal and the stranded drivers from other states were allowed to go. 

However, the members of the association continued their strike, sitting by the side of the NH. To avoid any further escalation in tension, ample policemen have been deployed at the spot. 

Meanwhile, a delegation of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLAs met the agitating drivers. The delegation assured the agitators that they would continue to raise their issues in the House. On the other hand, the Speaker of the Odisha Legislative Assembly gave a ruling, asking the Transport Minister to immediately hold a discussion with the agitating drivers and inform the House about steps taken to quell the agitation. 

“We have been staging demonstrations and taking out rallies for last three years. We have only been given assurances and dates. But our demands are yet to be fulfilled. So now we want no discussion, only declaration,” said an agitating driver.


(Reported by Alok Mohanty,OTV)