Bhubaneswar, Aug 10
Normal life was paralysedat most place sin the state today due to the dawn-to-dusk hartal called by the Odisha unit of BJP holding the Odisha government responsible for the death of Mahakalapada burn victim.
Commuters could not make it to their respective destinations as public transport remained off the roads while many trains were stranded at different railway stations in the state as party workers resorted to road blockade and rail roko at various places to mark the 12-hour hartal.
According to railway sources, the Puri-Hatia Tapaswini Express, Puri- Yesvantpur Express, Sambalpur and Bolangir Intercity Express were stopped by protesting BJP workers, who blocked rail tracks at the Bhubaneswar station holding party placards and raising slogans against the Naveen Patnaik government for its alleged apathy to the burn victim, who died on Thursday night at the Capital Hospital here.
Many passengers stranded at the stations hoped they could reach their destinations once the train services resumed. However, they expressed their dissatisfaction over the hartal called at such short notice by the BJP.
“The overnight decision to observe hartal is really unfair on commuters. Now, we are stranded here and we don’t know how long the hartal will continue. They can’t put passengers in trouble,” said Nityananda Sahu, a passenger, who was supposed to attend an interview at Kolkata.
BJP members staged picketing at different places while resorting to road block at various places including Jayadev Vihar, Master Canteen, Rasulgarh Square and Vani Vihar. They also burnt tyres on the roads to protest against the state government.
Commercial establishments and petrol pumps remained closed at may places in the state.
Reacting to the hartal by the BJP, BJD vice-president and Panchayati Raj Minister Kalpataru Das said that the opposition is trying to get political mileage over the issue, which is unfortunate. He also said that it will have no impact on people of the state as they are always with Naveen Patnaik government.