Sanjeev Kumar Pradhan

Sambalpur: Intensifying their demand for the establishment of a permanent High Court Bench in western Odisha, the agitating lawyers will begin a 3-day long economic blockade from today.

According to sources, the lawyers will stop all the vehicles carrying raw materials like coal, cement, rod and sand to various industrial institutions in the four districts, Sambalpur, Sundergarh, Jharsuguda and Deogarh during the blockade.

“The mines and minerals, finished goods production, coal production and export will be severely affected during the blockade. We will also stop the illegal supply of water from Hirakud Dam to all industrial units in these districts,” spokesperson of Western Odisha Central Action Committee (CAC), Sureswar Mishra said.

A decision in this regard was taken during a meeting held yesterday.

“Despite our repeated pleas and protests, the government is showing a callous attitude towards our demands. So we are forced to stage the economic blockade," Sambalpur Bar Association President, Bijitendriya Pradhan said.

Lawyers in the western part of the State have been agitating over the past four months pressing for the establishment of permanent High Court bench in the region.

Keeping in view the problems faced by people and disruption of judicial services, the Home department had earlier appealed the agitating lawyers and other members to withdraw their protest in the larger interests of the people.

On the other hand District Bar Association and the Central Action Committee (CAC) are observing a 12-hour bandh in Kalahandi today demanding establishment of a permanent bench of the Orissa High Court in the district.

While shops, business establishments and offices remained closed, movement of heavy vehicles came to a grinding halt due to the bandh.

Various political parties and social outfits have extended their support to the bandh, added sources.