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Sharmili Mallick

The 12-hour bandh called by the Bolangir district unit of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), demanding the removal and arrest of Minister of State for Home Captain Dibya Shankar Mishra over his alleged links with Gobinda Sahu, the main accused in the disappearance and murder of the lady teacher Mamita Meher, affected normal lives with several commercial establishments remaining shut in the district on Thursday.

The bandh started at 6 am and will be observed till 6 pm. The saffron party has also demanded a CBI probe into the kidnapping and murder of the 24-year-old lady teacher.

Meanwhile, the local BJP workers picketed at several key points of Bolangir Town, including in front of the District Collectorate and stopped the vehicles.

Public transport was also affected as buses as well as auto-rickshaws and taxis kept off the roads in the district. Similarly, markets and shops were also closed due to the bandh.

“We want justice for Mamita Meher’s family and the ouster of Minister Dibya Shankar Mishra or else the investigation cannot be carried out impartially. If the State Government does not fulfil our demands, BJP will intensify the stir,” said a senior BJP leader.

“We want the removal of the Minister. We want to know why the State Government had approved huge funds for Sunshine English Medium School. Why he (Mishra) used to repeatedly visit the guest of the school,” asked an agitating saffron party worker outside the district collector’s office.

In Kantabanji Town, shops and other commercial establishments remained shut while vehicles stay off the roads in view of the bandh. 

It may be noted Mamita, who used to teach at Sunshine English Medium School in Mahaling under the Sindhelkela Police limits of Kalahandi district, had gone missing under mysterious circumstances since October 8.

However, her body was recovered from an under-construction stadium in Mahaling on Tuesday while the fugitive Gobinda Sahu, the president of the school management committee, was nabbed on the same day. Sahu confessed to killing Mamita on Wednesday.

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