Bhubaneswar: During the 12-Hour Bhubaneswar bandh called by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) unprecedented scenes were witnessed when Biju janata Dal (BJD) party workers took to streets on motorcycles in a rally and clashed with the BJP party workers at the station square in the city centre.
Police had to take resort to mild lathi charge and detained a few BJD workers for getting into confrontation with BJP workers. Moments later Bhubaneswar city Commissioner of Police YB Khurania was seen at the spot taking stock of the incident alongwith the city DCP Satyabrata Bhoi.
BJP had announced the bandh call a couple of days back demanding the resignation and probe against the alleged “sex tape” of Mayor Anant Narayan Jena and also his alleged role in the death of an engineering student.
During the BJP workers were seen blocking the NH-16 and major roads of the city causing inconvenience to commuters and office goers. Main junctions at Khandagiri, Baramunda, Nalco square, Kalinga Hospital square, Vani Vihar, Ram temple square, Sriya Talkies square, station square experienced complete road blockade.
Police was forced to take the protestors into preventive custody from various places. No major untoward incident of violence was reported though a couple of stray incidents happened like setting fire to a vehicle and vandalising a few buses.
BJP leaders also alleged that the police sided with the BJD workers who clashed attacked them. Reacting to the bandh BJP’s Union Minister for petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan tweeted that “basic foundation in a democracy is all about respecting protests and protestors’ demand. But the act of ruling BJD during the hartal by BJP in Odisha goes against the ethics of democracy”.
Barring one incident of clash the Bhubaneswar bandh remained more or less peaceful till 5:20 pm in the evening till the report was filed.