Congress calls for shutdown in Odisha

Odisha’s opposition Congress has called for a statewide shutdown Sep 10 to protest “police excesses” on its workers during a party rally here, a senior leader said Friday.

Describing the use of force on its workers as unprovoked, undemocratic and a deliberate attempt to suppress the voice of the people, senior Congress leader Narasimha Mishra said his party would not rest till it dislodged the state government.

Mishra also said his party has demanded an impartial judicial probe into the violence.

At least 100 people, including protestors and several policemen, were injured when the rally by the Congress against the Naveen Patnaik-led government Thursday turned violent.

The cops used water cannons, lobbed tear gas shells and resorted to canes to disperse the irate crowd after the rallyists allegedly stormed the barricade and attacked the police.

Police used force after the crowd indulged in vandalism outside the assembly, state police chief Prakash Mishra said. The Congress, on the other hand, has accused the police of attacking Congressmen and thus triggering violence.

It was the first massive rally that the state’s main opposition Congress party held in state capital Bhubaneswar to highlight what it termed the “failure of the state government on various fronts”. The Congress has been demanding the resignation of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.(IANS)

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