Congress calls Odisha Bandh: Road, Rail traffic hit

Public transport was hit in Odisha Monday and trains stranded as the opposition Congress called for a dawn-to-dusk shutdown to protest police excesses on its workers during a party rally here last week, officials said.

Public transport was badly affected in several towns as many buses and taxis went off the roads. Trains were stranded at different railway stations as Congress workers squatted on railway tracks.

In the state capital Bhubaneswar, workers of the state’s main opposition party gathered near bus stands, railway stations and government and private offices and picketed them.

Around 20 Congress workers have already been taken into custody as a preventive measure in Bhubaneswar, deputy commissioner of police Nitinjit Singh told reporters.

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

Police used water cannons, lobbed teargas shells and used canes to disperse the irate crowd after the rallyists allegedly stormed the barricade and attacked police personnel.

While police said it used force after the crowd indulged in vandalism outside the assembly, the Congress accused police of using force without provocation.

Police have arrested 38 people for the violence Thursday. (IANS)


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