Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Balangir, Mar 25:
Offices of Odisha and Central governments, post offices and insurance company offices remained closed in Balangir as the Action Committee enforced a 12-hour bandh in the town to press its demand for the setting up of the proposed second agriculture university of the state in Balangir.
Members of the Action Committee picketed outside government offices and prevented staff from going in for duty. Shops, schools and colleges, however, remained open and vehicles plied on the roads during the dawn to dusk bandh.
“Our demand is the establishment of the proposed agriculture university in the district. Balangir is the fittest place for setting up of the university. If the government ignores this genuine demand of the people of the district, the agitation will be further intensified,” said Bhabani Shankar Satpathy, a protester.
“Today, we have closed all government offices. If the government doesn’t listen to our demands, this agitation will intensify further and it will be difficult on part of the government to control it,” warned Sudhir Kumar Pariccha of the Zilla Krushak Sangh.
The Action Committee has on board all social and cultural organizations of Balangir town. These organizations have submitted memorandums to the government at various fora at different points of time demanding establishment of the proposed second agriculture university in Balangir.
“The public at large, besides members of both the ruling party and the opposition, have participated in the agitation. This not an agitation of any particular organization; this is the agitation of the people of Balangir district. This is the voice of an area that has been suppressed for the last six decades,” said Pramod Kumar Mishra, convener of the Action Committee.