Bhubaneswar: A 12-hour bandh called by Indian national Congress (INC) party has thrown normal life out of gear in various parts of Odisha here on Tuesday. The bandh has been called by the Congress party over the Mahanadi river dispute between Odisha and Chhattisgarh and the apathy of the Centre and State over not resolving the issue.
The dawn to dusk bandh which began at 6 am in the morning threw hit normal life in Bhubanewar, Berhampur, Bhawanipatna, Bhadrak, Balasore, Sambalpur, Baripada, Angul and many other places.
Members of various wings of the Congress party staged protests, especially the Student Congress, Youth Congress, Mahila Congress and other party workers in large numbers blocked roads and stopped trains at various railway stations.
Many cities, towns and national highways in the State looked deserted since early morning. Most of the vehicular traffic like the trucks, buses, cars and three-wheelers were off the roads. Shops and business establishments, schools and colleges, Government and private offices remained closed at many places in the State.
In the State capital Bhubaneswar situation was peaceful barring a few clashes between Congress protesters and the police. Youth Congress members clashed with the police while trying to force their entry into the State Secretariat. After the scuffle hundreds of Congress workers were detained by the police including many student Congress leaders.
Similarly, mahila Congress workers staged dharna in front of Secretariat main gate in Bhubaneswar which led to arrests.
Earlier in the day several ministers and Secretaries of various departments were seen entering the secretariat gates either by walking or travelling on personal vehicles. Even Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik was seen coming to the secretariat amidst tight security.
During the day Commissionerate Police detained senior Congress leader and Leader of Opposition in the State Assembly Narasingha Mishra along with Deputy leader Chiranjibi Biswal, former PCC president Niranjan Patnaik and MLA Ranjib Biswal while they were trying to march towards the State Secretariat near AG Square. Police also detained PCC president Prasad Harichandan, Sarat Patnaik, Srikant Jena, Jayadev Jena and many others were detained near Master Canteen Square while they were leading a protest march towards the State Secretariat.