Bandh hits normal life: 18 arrested during strike in Capital

Bhubaneswar:  At least
18 activists including Congress leader Suresh Routray have been arrested in
Bhubaneswar during the ongoing state wide bandh called by State Congress.

According to sources the day long Odisha bandh has begun
today from 6 am in different parts of the State disrupting normal life. Congress
activists at many places in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Berhampur, Sambalpur,
Rourkela and Balasore are found intercepting vehicles on the road by picketing.
Hundreds of passengers are found stranded at Bhubaneswar and Cuttack railway stations
due rail roko conducted by the Congress activists.

 A team led by leader
of opposition Bhupinder Singh intercepted Karmandol and Prashanti Express at
Bhubaneswar railway station. Similarly, hundreds of congress members including
Cuttack Nagar President Mohammed Moqim and Secretary Suresh Mohapatra staged a
rail blockade at Cuttack railway station. Likewise train services at Sambalpur,
Berhampur, Balasore and Rourkela have come to a grinding halt due to blockade
by the Congress workers.

 The bus and auto services
have been disrupted as the bus and auto owners association decided earlier to
stop plying vehicles on Monday supporting bandh. According to report, a number
of vehicles have also been razed by the enraged activists in the capital city.

Police forces have been deployed at all vulnerable points in
the city to avoid any untoward situation. Special squad is moving around the
town to keep a close vigil on the situation, sources added.