Odishatv Bureau

Sambalpur: Normal life in Burla came to a standstill due to a dawn-to-dusk bandh called by the city Congress committee to protest against the damage of Mahatma Gandhi statue in the premises of Jyoti Vihar, the campus of Sambalpur University.

Members of the district Congress blocked roads at many places and burnt tyres on the roads bringing vehicular movement to a grinding halt in the district.

However, emergency services remained operational as the protesters spared them from the shutdown.

Notably, the statue of Mahatma Gandhi at the Sambalpur University campus Jyoti Vihar was found vandalized just a day after its unveiling. The incident triggered an outrage among students, people and political parties.

The statue was unveiled by BJD MLA Rohit Pujari in the presence of the university Vice-Chancellor and other dignitaries. But it was found damaged on Tuesday morning forcing the institute authorities to lodge a complaint at the Burla police station.

Chittaranjan Tripathy, Vice chancellor of the university had filed a complaint in this regard and informed the Collector and SP about the incident.

After investigation, Sambalpur SP said, “We first thought some miscreant might have damaged the statue. But after visiting the spot and probing the incident, we got to know the statue was razed by wind.”