Bhubaneswar: The State-wide bandh was also marked by instances of violence as Congress workers were seen manhandling people and setting vehicles on fire, leading the Congress State president to tender an apology at a post-bandh press meet.
In Shastri Nagar area of Bhubaneswar, angry locals torched two motor-cycles and damaged several vehicles, police said.
Reports from the districts said an ambulance was attacked by miscreants at Nayagarh, while a group stormed into Biridi block office. Violence was also reported from Dhenkanal where some offices were ransacked by bandh supporters.
A scuffle was reported between the police and bandh supporters when a group of Youth Congress activists tried to enter the State Secretariat premises. The hustle bustle seen at the Secratariat on a normal day was missing due to the bandh. The chief minister’s and cabinet ministers’ arrival at the secretariat was disrupted due to the bandh.
To avoid any unwarranted situation, ministers were seen shunning their red-beacon vehicles and coming to the secretariat on two-wheelers.
As a precautionary measure, police tightened security in the state capital and other places. Police personnel in strength were deployed near the residence of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Law minister Arun Sahoo, and other ministers and officers, the police commissioner said.
Meanwhile, after reports of such violent activities, State Congress president Prasad Harichandan tendered an apology. Citing that some of the violence was perpetrated by ruling-BJD to render the bandh unsuccessful, Harichandan apologized to the people of Odisha for the violence caused by his own party workers.