Bhubaneswar: Vehicular movement was affected in various parts of Odisha today due to ‘Bharat Bandh’ observed by Dalit organisations protesting the dilution of the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act.
The effect of the bandh was majorly felt in the tribal-dominated districts of the state. While buses remained off the road, many shops and business establishments were shut in Malkangiri, Kalahandi, Sundargarh and Balangir districts.
A rail roko was staged at the Khetrajpur station in Sambalpur by the Adivasi Dalit Sena, resulting in halting of Sambalpur-Puri and Sambalpur-Rayagada trains.
Several Dalit organisations also staged road blockade on National Highway at Vani Vihar, Jayadev Vihar and Acharya Vihar in Bhubaneswar. Hundreds of vehicles temporarily remained stranded on the road due to the block. It was lifted following the intervention of police.
Notably, the Dalits and tribal communities were upset after the Supreme Court in its order on March 20 banned the automatic arrest of anyone booked under the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act