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'Bharat Bandh': Cong workers protest rising fuel prices in Odisha, train services disrupted

Press Trust of India  |  Bhubaneswar 

were hit as protestors squatted on tracks in Odisha during the 'Bharat bandh' called by the to protest rising fuel prices Monday.

workers blocked railway tracks in many places, including Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Keonjhar, Khurda Road, Paradip, Balasore and Bhadrak, to enforce the shutdown from 6 am to 3 pm.

At least 10 trains were cancelled and several others regulated in the jurisdiction of the East Coast Railway (ECoR) in view of the 'Bharat Bandh', an said.

A large number of passengers were stranded at railway stations in different places as many trains were delayed due to the 'rail roko' programme, officials said.

Vehicular movement also came to a grinding halt in many places as workers blocked roads at various junctions in places such as Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Sambalpur and Khurda by burning tyres, they said.

Commuters were stranded in many places as buses, taxis and autorickshaws stayed off the roads. A large number of vehicles were seen stranded on national and state highways.

In state capital Bhubaneswar, Congress workers staged road blockade at several places disrupting movement of vehicles on the national highway through the city.

Proceedings in the state Assembly were washed out following ruckus by Congress members who trooped into the well soon after the House assembled for the day demanding its adjournment till 3 pm as a mark of protest against the rising prices of

As Congress tried to climb the speaker's podium amid sloganeering by party legislators against the fuel price hike, adjourned the House for the day.

Outside the Assembly building, (OPCC) led a dharna and urged the legislators to skip participation in the House business till 3 pm in support of the 'Bharat Bandh'.

The impact of was also felt in the tourist destination of Konark as supporters locked the ticket counter of the famous As a result, a large number of tourists failed to visit the monument, officials said.

Several senior Congress leaders staged sit-ins and demonstrations at several places, including the near Bhawan.

Shops, markets, business establishments and educational institutions remained closed across the state during the 9-hour-long shutdown, while attendance was thin in offices. Employees were seen reaching banks and offices early in the morning.

Emergency services, including ambulance, medicine shops and vehicles carrying milk, have been kept out of the purview of the

Examinations scheduled for the day were cancelled by the (BPUT), sources said.

The situation remained by and large peaceful barring stray incidents at Kakatpur in district as elaborate security arrangements were made as a precautionary measure, a said.

Describing the bandh as a "complete success" in the state, OPCC said people extended their spontaneous support to the strike as they are hit hard by the hike in the prices of

He said his party had also called upon the ruling BJD to suspend the proceedings of the Assembly till 3 pm if it sincerely opposed the price hike of petrol, diesel and cooking gas.

Patnaik said the bandh passed off peacefully except a minor incident of scuffle at Kakatpur and the party has formed a committee to inquire into the matter. "If any Congress is found involved in the incident, action will be taken," he said.

Regarding the Congress' request to suspend Assembly proceedings during the bandh, Dash said the ruling party has been protesting fuel price hike.

The BJD staged protests near petrol pump outlets against the hike, he said.

parties, including the CPI, CPI(M), CPI(ML), Forward Block, SUCI and other outfits, also observed a 'hartal' (strike) on Monday coinciding with bandh.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, September 10 2018. 15:50 IST