Normal life was affected across Odisha on Friday due to a dawn-to-dusk bandh called by Congress protesting alleged mismanagement in Lord Jagannath’s Brahma Parivartan rituals and demading a judicial probe into the episode.
Train and bus services were disrupted during the 12-hour shut-down with Congress workers and leaders holding picketing and blocking railway tracks, bus stands and roads in different places, police said.
Bandh supporters blocked railway tracks at various places including Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Balasore since morning disrupting movement of trains and leaving a large number of passengers stranded.
Shops and business establishments remained closed and vehicular movement came to a halt in different places.
Besides the state capital of Bhubaneswar, impact of the bandh was felt elsewhere in the state including Cuttack, Balasore, Puri, Bhadrak, Sambalpur, Angul, Rourkela, Balangir, Sundargarh, Dhenkanal, Jajpur, Kendrapara and Jagatsinghpur.
However, essential and emergency services like hospital and ambulance service were spared from the bandh.
While the bandh remained by and large peaceful, tension surfaced for sometime near the state Secretariat in Bhubaneswar when a group of youth Congress activists came face to face with police.
As a precautionary measure, the police tightened security in the state capital and other places to prevent any untoward incident. Police personnel in strength were deployed outside the chief minister’s residence
"We have augmented security in certain important installations," Commissioner of Police R P Sharma said, adding police personnel are deployed in residence of the law Minister Arun Sahoo and some other ministers and senior officers.
Several Congress leaders and activists were taken into custody, the police said.