The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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‘Success’ & ‘failure’ of bandh

Bhubaneswar, Sept. 10: The dawn-to-dusk bandh, called by the Congress and Left parties over the state government’s “failure in fighting cholera epidemic and controlling deteriorating law and order”, evoked a near total response.

Highway traffic and train services were disrupted as bandh supporters blocked the national highways and other major roads by burning tyres and squatted on railway tracks. Shops and business establishments downed their shutters, while four-wheelers remained off the road.

However, production activities in Nalco’s alumina plant and smelter at Angul and Damanjodi, thermal power plant at Talcher and Iffco’s fertiliser plant at Paradip were normal. Loading and unloading work in 11 ships anchored at Paradip port was on. But the working of conveyer belt was affected due to bandh, sources said.

Director-general of police Amarananda Pattanayak said the bandh passed off more or less peacefully barring a few stray incidents of violence. The irrigation office at Khurda was damaged when a protester threw a can of kerosene on an abandoned vehicle inside the campus.

More than 3,400 political activists were arrested at several places across the state while picketing in front of government offices or staging road blockade, said home department special secretary B.K. Jena.

However, chief minister Naveen Patnaik said: “What do you mean by successful bandh' Preventing labourers or street vendors from earning their daily bread'” But Naveen could not venture out of his residence till senior Congress leaders were arrested.


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