Traders observe Kantabanji bandh, demand arrest of former Congress MLA’s nephew

Bolangir: A 12-hour dawn-to-dusk bandh was observed in Kantabanji by traders’ association protesting the attack on a businessman allegedly by the nephew of senior Congress leader and former MLA Santosh Singh Saluja, Praveen Saluja.

Demanding immediate arrest of the accused Praveen Saluja, the Agarwal Sabha staged peaceful demonstration. The leaders of BJD and BJP have also extended support to the agitation.

On November 24, a complaint was lodged at Kantabanji police station regarding the attack on businessman, Asish Jain by the MLA’s nephew. As police allegedly did not take any action even after one week of the incident, the traders’ outfit resorted to bandh to press for the arrest of the accused.

Meanwhile, Asish is undergoing treatment in a private hospital in Visakhapatnam and is stated to be critical.

Reports said, shops, markets, offices, banks and other business establishments have remained closed since the morning. However, educational institutions, bus and emergency services have been exempted from the purview of the shutdown.

“All shops, business establishments, offices and banks have remained closed in the protest of police inaction,” chairman of Agarwal Sabha, Sanjay Jena.

“The police had assured us to take legal action within three days. Even though six days have passed, no steps have been taken yet by police. Therefore, we have resorted to bandh and the shutdown was also backed by the locals of Kantabanji,” said district BJD president Firoz Khan.

“We want stringent action against Praveen so that such incidents do not recur in future,” said Asish’s son Raichand Jain.

While the accused Praveen is still absconding, former Congress MLA Santosh Singh Saluja could not be contacted on the issue.