Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Sundargarh, Dec 14:

Normal life was today affected in Odisha’s Sundargarh district due to a 12-hour dawn-to-dusk bandh called by the district Congress and Rourkela organisational district Congress protesting the forcible removal of black stoles/scarves/shawls worn by women at the venue of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s meeting here recently.


While shops, business establishments and educational institutions remained closed, vehicular movement came to a grinding halt, sources said.

Congress activists were seen picketing at various places forcing closure of shops and private offices. They also staged a road blockade on NH near Panposh square in Rourkela as a result of which hundreds of vehicles remained stranded on both sides of the road.

“Investigation into the stole removal incident is yet to start despite probe order by the Chief Minister. This is resulting in delay in action against the wrongdoers. We demand that the CM should tender unconditional apology to the women,” Sundargarh district Congress president Dushmant Nayak had said at a press conference here.

It may be recalled here that security agencies (including Odisha police) in charge of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s event at Mangaspur in Sundargarh district on December 4 were seen forcing women participants to take off their black colour stoles and shawls before entering the meeting venue.

Even though many of the women were visibly upset and did protest, some of the women constables were seen pushing and shoving them in a bid to ensure no one uses garments as black flags or use them as a mean to oppose the Chief Minister.