Sambalpur: Normal life was paralysed for the second consecutive day over the 48-hour ‘Mahabandh’ in western Odisha called by the Central Action Committee (CAC) of All Western Odisha Bar Association (AWOBA) in support of its demand of establishing a permanent bench of the Orissa High Court in the region Friday.
People faced unwanted problems as banks, financial institutions, educational institutions, markets, shops, business establishments as well as the state and Central government offices remained closed in the region due to the bandh.
This apart, the agitating lawyers have been resorting to cease-work since November 19 over the demand.
On the other hand, vehicular movement in five districts – Sambalpur, Deogarh, Jharsuguda, Sonepur and Sundargarh – has been badly hit resulting in severe inconvenience for commuters. Hundreds of vehicles remained stranded along national and state highways due to the bandh. However, emergency services have been excluded from the ambit of the bandh.
Similarly, the East Coast Railway (ECoR) cancelled at least 12 trains while 10 were diverted in view of the ‘rail roko’. A large number of commuters were left stranded at several places due to disruption of train services and non-plying of passenger buses. Emergency services like health care, ambulance, water supply have been kept out of the purview of the bandh.
While lawyers’ associations of several districts, including the Sambalpur District Bar Association, took an active part in the bandh, while bar associations of Kalahandi, Nuapada, Balangir, Rourkela and Bargarh refrained from it.
Trade unions, farmers’ outfits, civil societies and several social and cultural organisations also extended their support of the bandh.
The longstanding demand of a permanent High Court bench in western Odisha must be met without further delay and both the state government and the Centre should take quick steps in this regard, Spokesperson of the Central Action Committee of AWOBA, Sureshswar Mishra said.
Meanwhile, Bolangir Bar Assocation has decided to launch a separate agitation for setting up of the High Court bench in Bolangir and called for a bandh in the district December 3.