Balangir, Jan. 28: Normal life was thrown out of gear by the dawn-to-dusk strike call by the Balangir town Congress to protest against deteriorating law and order situation in the district here today.
All government and private offices remained closed, while schools and colleges also declared a holiday today. Commuters also had to face a lot of difficulties as traffic was paralysed across the town.
Even the district collectorate couldn’t function because the agitators locked all its gates and didn’t allow any official to go inside.
Sujan Sahu, who works at a government office in Sonepur, said that he had to take a leave today because he couldn’t go to his office, which is situated was 50km away from the district headquarters town.
“It was sheer wastage of a working day as the strike was not called for any genuine cause,” he said.
Rabi Mishra, who works in a school at a village about 20km from Balangir, had to reach his workplace on a motorcycle.
“I refrained from taking a leave since this is the first month of the year. So, I decided to reach office today by whatever means. I asked my brother for a ride to the school on his motorcycle.” he said.
Rashmita Tripathy, a homemaker, said that her daily milk supply was interrupted this morning.
“When I went to the nearest Omfed parlour, I was told that the vehicle that carries milk could not come because of the strike,” she said.
In the morning, the town Congress activists forcefully closed various offices of the town. Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee member Asim Pattnaik said that people from all walks of life extended “spontaneous support” to the strike.
“The spontaneous support of the people to the strike is a proof that people are worried about the law and order situation. We will take the agitation to the grass-root level and will gherao block offices in the days to come,” he said.