Bhubaneswar: Demanding resignation of Minister of State (Home) Dibya Shankar Mishra for his alleged nexus with the key accused Gobinda Sahu in lady teacher Mamita Meher murder case, the Odisha unit of Congress Friday observed ‘hartal’ from 6.00 AM to 12 Noon in the state.
Following Orissa High Court’s order on a petition against the earlier Odisha Bandh called by Congress, the party leaders and workers observed hartal without disrupting civic life and vehicular traffic.
Bhubaneswar and Cuttack twin cities witnessed no adverse impact. However, some supporters of Congress in Kalahandi and Bolangir districts intensified the agitation insisting on dismissal of Mishra.
A group of Congress workers led by senior leader Suresh Routray staged a hartal at Master Canteen Square in the state capital.
“Congress received complete support from public for Odisha Bandh. Our agitation will continue till justice is given to deceased Mamita Meher,” the Jatni MLA said terming the hartal as ‘successful’.
Despite protests at vital locations in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack, Mo Bus service remained unaffected in the Twin City, a source said.
Civic life remained unaffected during the six-hour bandh as most of the shops and other commercial establishments remained open in the state, including in the twin cities of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack.
“As many as 35 platoons of police forces have been deployed in the Twin City to prevent any eventuality. We appeal people to inform the police by dialing 112, in case manhandled by protestors during hartal,” Bhubaneswar DCP Umashankar Dash said to mediapersons.
“Congress party has committed before the Orissa High Court that there will be no ‘rasta roko’ and ‘rail roko’ by putting the public at inconvenience. The High Court has differentiated between hartal and forcible bandh while clarifying that there is no problem in observing hartal but forcible bandh is illegal and undemocratic, the Twin City Police Commissioner Soumendra Priyadarshi expressed.
Besides, the state government previously directed its employees to reach their respective offices by 9.30am Friday in the twin cities.