The 12-hour shutdown observed by Koshal Rajya Milita Karjyanushtan Committee demanding a separate ‘Koshal’ state partially affected normal life in 11 districts in the western part of Odisha Saturday.
While shops and commercial establishments remained closed in most of these 11 districts, public transportation also came to a grinding halt with the activists of Koshal Mukti Morcha staging road blockades on the national highway (NH) and major roads. The activists have been pressing for a separate Koshal state alleging neglect of the region by the Odisha government in various fields.
The shutdown remained ineffective in Sambalpur town, a major commercial hub of western Odisha, as some outfits like Hirakhand Sammukhya and Sambalpuri Bhasa Sanskruti Parishad opposed the bandh call.
The bandh was total in districts like Boudh, Sonepur, Balangir, Kalahandi, Nuapada, Sundargarh, Bargarh, and parts of Sambalpur.
According to the police, the bandh remained peaceful and no untoward incident was reported from anywhere. Adequate security arrangements were made by the police to prevent any major law and order situation.
A few politicians belonging to the Opposition parties from the western region extended their support to the demand for a separate Koshal state.