Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Sambalpur, Nov 11:
Normal life was thrown out of gear in Sambalpur town this morning following a 12-hour dawn-to-dusk bandh call by the Action Committee for Indian Institute of Management (IIM) to protest the decision taken by the Odisha government to set up the proposed Odisha IIM in Bhubaneswar.
According to reports, the protestors from various organizations and political parties blocked the National Highway-55 at Ainthapali demanding the withdrawal of the state government’s decision and setting up of the Institute in Sambalpur.
The protestors also detained Sambalpur-Rayagada Express train at Khetrajpur railway station for about 15 minutes.
“We have been demanding IIM in Sambalpur since the last two months. But the state government has ignored our just demand and betrayed the people of western Odisha as it has finally decided the capital city as its location. We would continue our protest till our demands are met”, said a protestor.
The Action Committee yesterday had formed a human chain in the town in collaboration with a number of organisations, students of different colleges, political parties, senior leaders, NGO activists and common people. The protesters had also staged a dharna in front of the office of the Revenue Divisional Commissioner (RDC).
Sambalpur happens to be the nerve centre of western Odisha and setting up the IIM here would also help bridge the regional disparity, said senior Congress leader Sureswar Mishra.