Phulbani: The Kandhamal Surakshya Abhiyan is observing a 12-hour dawn to dusk bandh in the district today demanding action against ministers and officials in connection with the incident of a 14-year-old girl student giving birth to a baby in Daringibadi area.
Shops, business establishments and educational institutions remained closed in view of the bandh while vehicular movement came to a grinding halt in the district as the agitators staged road blockade and resorted to picketing in front of government and private organisations.
The BJP has extended its support to the bandh call as workers of the saffron party were seen blocking roads at several junctions holding party flags.
The demands of the agitators include resignation of Ministers Ramesh Majhi and Prafulla Samal, transfer of the district Collector, judicial probe into the incident, suspension of the District Welfare Officer, compensation of Rs 50 lakh and provision of safety of the girl.
As many as 12 platoons of police forces have been deployed across the district to avoid any untoward incident during the bandh.
Notably, the minor girl, a Class-VIII student of a state-run tribal residential school in Daringbadi area of the district, had given birth to a baby in the toilet of the hostel on January 13. The girl and the newborn were rescued by some locals from Sraniketa forest, 10 km away from the hostel, in a very bad condition and shifted to Sub-Divisional Hospital, Baliguda. The newborn died at MKCG Medical College and Hospital in Berhampur on January 14.
The girl got pregnant after she was raped by one Sraban Pradhan (23) when she had gone to her village during vacation. The accused has already been arrested.