800 arrested in Orissa during bandh

800 arrested in Orissa during bandh

The bandh was called separately by different political parties in the state.
"We are organising a peaceful bandh," ruling BJD president and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik told reporters at his office at the state secretariat here.

Despite BJD's support to the bandh, the state government offices remained open and employees were asked to reach their work places early.

Official sources about 800 bandh supporters, including BJP state unit president Jual Oram and senior leaders Suresh Pujari and P Harichandan were arrested while picketing at different places to enforce the bandh.

While Oram and Harichandan were held along with about 100 BJP workers while picketing here, Pujari and former BJP MP Surendra Lath were arrested in Sambalpur, where 200 supporters were also taken into custody, official sources said.

The bandh supporters disrupted movement of trains and buses leaving a large number of passengers stranded at Bhubaneswar, Berhampur, Cuttack, Balasore, Sambalpur, Rourkela and Bhadrak.

Some employees of Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd, including a personnel manager was injured when bandh supporters, allegedly belonging to BJD, stormed into company headquarters at Burla near Sambalpur and assaulted its staff and damaged electronic equipment and furniture, company sources said.

Bandh supporters prevented NALCO employees from entering their corporate office here though the production units of the navaratna PSU at Damanjodi and Angul functioned normally, company sources said.

Work in NTPC's thermal power plant at Kaniha near Angul was also unaffected.
A Paradip report said though bandh supporters forced the administrative building of Paradip Port Trust to be closed for over two hours in the morning, loading and unloading activities in the port was normal. But clearing and forwarding of the goods were paralysed, official sources said.

Other industrial units including IFFCO, PPL and other private companies were functioning with first shift employees attending to their offices.

In Rourkela the bandh was peaceful and RSP functioned as usual. While shops and business outfits downed their shutters, trains were stopped.

Reports from the districts said about 152 people were arrested at Balangir, 70 at Rourkela, 35 at Rengali and 30 at Dhenkanal.

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