Scuffle ensued as BJD takes out rally to counter BJP’s Bhubaneswar bandh

Bhubaneswar: Scuffles were ensued between the activists of Biju Chhatra Janata Dal (BCJD) and BJP at Ram Mandir square and again at Master Canteen here as two parties hit the streets to oppose each other today.

Police commissioner YB Khurania and DCP Satyabrat Bhoi rushed to the spot and intervened into the matter.

As per its earlier announcement, the BJP today observed a 12-hor bandh in the Capital city demanding arrest and resignation of BMC Mayor Anant Narayan Jena over his alleged links with engineering student Rishi’s death while activists of the students wing of the regional party took out a bike rally from Vani Vihar to Master Canteen square to counter the saffron party’s move.

“We opposed the bandh and appealed to the people to keep open their shops and other private organisations. At a time when people are facing problems due to demonetisation, call for a bandh is irresponsible”, BCJD’s Chinmaya Sahoo said.

“The commissioner has already expreesed the commitment to bring the truth to fore on Mayor’s issue. Still, BJP observed a day-long bandh leading to much inconvenience to common man”, Sahoo added.

The BJP workers started picketing at many places and blocked roads making inconvenience for the commuters. The sloganeering BJP workers burnt tyres at Khandagiri, Baramunda and Nalco square and way laid the bikers and other commuters waiving their flags.

The saffron party activists were taken into preventive custody while trying to vandalise city buses at Station square. Similarly, 20 such protesters were lifted by police at Fire Station road for allegedly resorting to violence during bandh.

BJP alleged cops are protecting the BJD workers, who have attacked the BJP men. “Under protection of police, BJD activists have thrashed the BJP workers observing bandh peacefully. The BJD workers have also resorted to blank firing at Ram Mandir square. We had called for a peaceful bandh. Who allowed the BJD activists to take out rally against our bandh? We seek reply from the chief minister”, BJP general secretary Bhrugu Buxipatra said.

He also warned the chief minister against visit to districts. “We will see how the CM would visit various districts to attend his party programme”, he added.

Reacting on the development, Sashi Bhusan Behera, BJD spokesperson, said, “No rally has been done by BJD. From the videos aired on OTV, I found the youth-wing of BJD has not supported the bandh called by the saffron party. The bandh has no impact on the common man.”

YB Khurania, police commissioner, said, “Violence has been reported at two-three places in the town. The places where vandalism had taken place are under the scanner of CCTVs. We have preserved the CCTV footages and cases will be registered against the persons who will be found damaging public properties.”

Meanwhile, BJP has announced to gherao Police DG office tomorrow protesting attack on supporters during today’s Bhubaneswar bandh.