Normal life has been completely disrupted by the Congress-called Odisha Bandh on Friday.
The bandh has been called in protest against the mismanagement by the state government and the Shri Jagannath temple administration resulting in serious irregularities and tradition violation during the Brahma Parivartan of the Lords in Puri on June 17.
However, all essential services such as hospitals and Nabakelabara works were exempted from the Bandh.
Police has arrested eminent Congress leaders like Suresh Routray, Chiranjib Biswal, Ranjib Biswal and Bhakta Charan Das.
The Congress activists have staged ‘rail-roko’ in Cuttack, Bhubaneswar, Khordha Road, Sambalpur, Brahmapur, Bhadrak, Jaleswar, Bhadrak and Rayagada in the morning and also staged road blockades at various places in these places.
In Bhubaneswar, the police had a scuffle with a group of Youth Congress activists who tried to force their way into the State Secretariat premises.
The police has arrested the Youth Congress president and Student Congress president.
Earlier in the morning, the Congress workers went to the city railway station and detained Bhubaneswar-New Delhi Rajdhani Express and several other trains.
The party workers staged ‘rail- roko’ and disrupted train services in Cuttack and Sambalpur.
The bandh also evoked total response in Puri as the Congress workers and leaders blocked the road at Atharanala and picketed at the railway station. All schools, colleges, educational institutions, business establishments and banks remained close.
Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Prasad Harichandan has expressed gratitude to the people for the support to bandh call, saying, “The success of the bandh has clearly reflected the religious sentiments of the people of the state.”
“The chief minister should admit the gross failure of his government in the proper management of Shri Jagannath Temple administration and resign from his post respecting the sentiments of the people,” said Senior Congress leader Bhakta Charan Das.