Life affected in Western Odisha bandh

Normal life was affected in Western Odisha today during a 12-hour bandh called by lawyers in the region demanding arrest and transfer of Sambalpur district Collector for her alleged highhandedness. Shops, markets, schools, colleges, offices and banks remained closed in major towns of Sambalpur, Sundargarh, Jharsuguda, Bolangir and other districts in the region during the bandh called by Western Odisha Bar Associations.

The associations also demanded judicial inquiry into the confrontation between Sambalpur collector Mrinalini Darswal and lawyers, which took place on April 23. The woman collector was allegedly manhandled by lawyers during the conflict and she lodged a complaint, the police said. The lawyers also lodged a complaint and alleged that the collector had used abusive language against the lawyers. Police had arrested 18 lawyers in this connection. The bandh passed off peacefully, the sources said.

In Sambalpur, normal life was paralysed as roads wore a deserted look and business activities came to a standstill as lawyers staged demonstration and picketing at several places, sources said. A report from Rourkela said shops and markets were closed at the district headquarters town of Sundargarh. Banks and offices were also closed following picketing by lawyers. However, in the steel city, offices, banks and Rourkela Steel plant functioned as usual.

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