Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Aug 26:
More than 10 western Odisha districts are observing a 12-hour bandh today demanding separate statehood for the Koshal region in response to a call given by the Koshal State Coordination Committee (KSCC).
As a consequence of the bandh, normal life was disrupted in the morning at some places in western districts.
While shops, government and private establishments, schools and colleges remained closed, agitators stopped movement of trains at some stations putting commuters in difficulty. The bandh had an effect in Balangir, Jharsuguda, Sambalpur, Sundargarh, Rourkela, Bargarh, Deogarh, Subarnapur, Nuapada and Kalahandi.
The bandh call was given by the KSCC comprising representatives of organizations of 10 western Odisha districts.
In Sundargarh, shops, government and private establishments, schools and colleges remained closed while movement of traffic was disrupted in this mineral rich district. With dumpers and trucks remaining off the road,s transportation of minerals has come to a standstill.
Agitators owing allegiance to Koshal Kranti Dal (KKD) force closed some government offices which were open by picketing in front of them.
A large number of policemen have been deployed in the district headquarters town to maintain law and order. Police has arrested 30 members of the KKD in Sundargarh district.
“In 1936 and 1948, the political leaders of Odisha got our land merged with the state through a conspiracy. We are demanding a separate state as per the provisions of Article 2 and 3 of the Constitution,” Pramod Kumar Mishra a leader of the Koshal movement in Balangir had said in a statement on Tuesday.
Formation of a separate state is the only solution to the problems like regional imbalance, discrimination in education, employment, industrialization and development, he had added.
On Saturday, activists of Koshal movement took out a motorbike rally at Bargarh from Samalei Temple in the city through Bheden and Chiplima before culminating at the Maa Samalei Temple in Sambalpur to sensitize people for separate state.