Sharmili Mallick

Bolangir: Intensifying agitation for the establishment of a permanent bench of Orissa High Court here, lawyers have called for week-long closure of all major government offices including the Collectorate, Tehsil and other institutions in the district from today.

“We have closed down all courts and other governmental offices in the district from today and the agitation will continue unless our demands are fulfilled,” said President of Bolangir Bar Association, Ashok Mohanty.

“The Collectorate and the Civil court have remained shut for seven days. If the dilly-dallying attitude of the concerned authorities continues, we will intensify our strike and both the state and central governments will be responsible for it,” threatened Convenor of Central Action Committee (CAC), Lalit Nayak.

On Monday, normal life was thrown out of gear in the district due to the 24-hour bandh called by Bolangir Bar Association and the CAC. Shops, educational institutions, government and non-government offices, business establishments and markets were closed and vehicles remained off roads due to the shutdown.

Train movement was also disrupted in the districts as agitating lawyers staged rail roko protests at Bolangir railway station leading to the cancellation and diversion of many trains to/from the district.

Many leaders from Congress, BJD and BJP including locals and as many as 200 workers' and social organisations also extended their support to the bandh.