Mixed response to bandh call in western Odisha for separate state

Mixed response to bandh call in western Odisha for separate state

Sambalpur (Odisha), Nov 18 (PTI) The 12-hour bandh called by Koshal Rajya Milita Kriyanusthan Committee in Western Odisha on Saturday over the demand for formation of a separate Koshal state evoked a mixed response with many commercial establishments remaining closed.

Government and private offices, educational institutions, banks and financial institutions, shops and markets remained closed while passenger buses were off the road due to the bandh in the western Odisha districts of Bargarh, Balangir, Sonepur, Nuapada and Kalahandi.

The impact of the bandh was negligible in Jharsuguda and Sundargarh districts. There was no impact of the bandh in Deogarh district too.

The bandh affected normal life in Kuchinda and Rirakhol areas of the Sambalpur district but the district headquarters town of Sambalpur remained largely unaffected. Some supporters of the bandh staged a road blockade at Ainthapali in Sambalpur but police removed them from the spot.

'The bandh passed peacefully and no untoward incident was reported in any parts of western Odisha', ADG (Law and Order) Sanjay Kumar told PTI.

Koshal Rajya Milita Kriyanusthan Committee leader Pramod Mishra claimed that the bandh was successful. 'People from all walks of life including some political groups also extended support to the bandh. We will continue such agitation till the formation of a new state,' he said.

President of Koshla Mukti Morcha, Sagar Charan Das alleged that the state government has always ignored the western Odisha region.

'Though a significant portion of the revenue of Odisha is generated from this region, this region has remained neglected. A separate state is the only solution to address the economic disparities,' Das said.

In Sambalpur, however, Hirakhand Samukhya and Sambalpuri Bhasa Sanskruti Parishad appealed to the people to refrain from the bandh opposing the word 'Koshal' and 'Koshali'.

'We support the demand for a separate state. However, we oppose the word 'Koshal' and 'Koshali'. It is a part of a wider conspiracy to undermine the word 'Sambalpuri'. Separate statehood is a genuine demand. But our identity, dignity, language and culture come first for us,' said Deepak Panda, vice-president, Hirakhand Samukhya.

Some people are trying to name it 'Koshli' on the pretext of 'Koshal state'. Hence, the people of Sambalpur decided to abstain from the bandh, he said. PTI COR BBM BBM RG

Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated feed.

PSU Watch