Ramakanta Biswas

Sambalpur: Intensifying their demand for establishment of a permanent bench of Orissa High Court in western Odisha, the lawyers in the region launched a three-day Sambalpur bandh from Saturday.

The bandh was called by the lawyers along with the Western Odisha Central Action Committee (CAC) and Citizens' Committee of Western Odisha.

Only government and private offices remained close while shops, markets, banks, post offices and educational institutions have been exempted from the bandh. Judicial works were visibly affected by the lawyers' agitation and the district judge could not reach the court and was forced to return from Kacheri Chhak.

The agitators have decided to observe three-day bandhs on last three working days of every month.

"The agitation will continue until a permanent HC bench is not set up in western Odisha. People from all parties are collectively extending support to the agitation," said an agitating lawyer.

"Like earlier, we are observing three-day bandh this month. We have learnt that people are extending full support to our agitation. As the citizens' committee has called for the bandh and it is a public movement, all are extending support," said another lawyer.