Baripada, Oct 7:
The dawn-to-dusk bandh called by North Odisha lawyers on Monday demanding a bench of the High Court bench in the region was near total in Mayurbhanj district.
While vehicles remained off the roads, educational institutions, government offices, courts and business establishments remained closed in all major towns in the district, including the district headquarters Baripada, sources said. The bandh also evoked spontaneous response in Rairangpur, Karanjia and Udala.
Balasore Bar Association, political outfits like Congress, BJP, JMM and Bhanj Sena, members of All India Medical Association’s district unit, District Athletic Association and District Commercial units and other organisations have also supported the bandh call.
The presidents, secretaries of bar associations; members of political outfits and local voluntary organisations of Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar, Bhadrak and Balasore have formed an action committee to support the cause.
They will decide the future course of action after Monday’s bandh.
The lawyers of north Odisha feel let down after chief minister Naveen Patnaik wrote to the Union Law minister proposing establishment of High Court benches in southern and western regions of the state.
Terming the recommendations of the chief minister as politically motivated, a leader of the Baripada Bar Association said it was unethical and unjust on his part to recommend the proposal to the Union ministry without waiting for the Pal Commission report.
The government had agreed to set up a High Court bench in Baripada before the merger of the princely state of Mayurbhanj with Odisha after independence and it was breach of trust on its part to now go back on the commitment, said the president of the Rairangpur Bar Association.