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As a mark of protest against the violence during Hanuman Jayanti in Sambalpur, the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) on Wednesday is observing a 12-hour bandh in 14 western Odisha districts including undivided Koraput.
The bandh, which started at 6 am and will continue till 6 pm in the evening today, has affected normal lives in several districts as VHP workers were seen picketing at various places to make the bandh a successful one.
Bajrang Dal workers were spotted gathering at various important places in Bolangir and staging protests. Similarly, normal life was also affected in Bhawanipatna of Kalahandi district due to the bandh.
Members of the BJP and Bajrang Dal also extended their support for the bandh. The protesters demanded stringent action against the rioters that caused mayhem in Sambalpur during Hanuman Jayanti. They burnt tires and blocked the main roads and highways during the protest.
Furthermore, shops and business establishments were shut down in Deogarh as a mark of support for the protest. Other districts including Sambalpur, Deogarh, Jharsuguda, Sundargarh, Bolangir, Sonepur, Boudh, Kalahandi, Nuapada, Koraput, Nabarangpur, Malkangiri, and Rayagada also witnessed the bandh by the Bajrang dal workers.
Police and security personnel were also deployed at important junctions to avoid any untoward incident during the bandh.
“During the Hanuman Jayanti procession, a few people of a particular religion attacked our brothers and pelted stones at them.
However, stringent action is not being taken in this regard. The government and administration are going easy on the rioters. So, we have called for the bandh but all the emergency vehicles, students who have exams, and other emergency things have been excluded from the protest,” said a protesting VHP worker.
Another worker said, “We have only called for bandh without affecting normal services. Only shops, business establishments, colleges, schools, and government offices have been closed. But, students who are going to write their exams and the exam centers will not be affected because of our bandh.”
- Reported by:
- Ghateswar Mishra