By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, September 10, 2018: Barring sporadic cases of violence at different places in the state, the Bharat Bandh called by opposition parties led by Congress passed off peacefully in Odisha.

However, traders in Odisha lost business deals worth Rs 1500 crore due to the Bandh opposing sharp hike in fuel prices. Most shops, business establishments and commercial centres downed their shutters in all the major cities across the state.

Banks in the state also wore a deserted look leading to a sharp slide in business pegged in excess of Rs 24000 crore, bank officials said.

The traders in key markets have suo moto shut down their shops to avoid any untoward incident. This led to loss in business of around Rs 1500 crore, according to Sudhakar Panda, Secretary, Odisha Baybasayai Mahasangha.

Roads wore a deserted look as vehicular traffic came to a grinding halt as buses, trucks and rickshaws stayed off during the opposition-sponsored shutdown.

Train services were also disrupted as protesters demonstrated at various stations in the state. In fact, the East Coast Railway cancelled at least 10 trains in the state due to Bandh.

The Odisha Assembly was adjourned by Speaker Pradip Amat till Tuesday following a ruckus by Congress and BJP members over fuel price hike and alleged irregularities in Omfed.

As soon as the House assembled for the day, Congress MLAs staged a protest inside the House shouting anti-Government slogans over fuel price hike. Party senior leader Chief Whip Tara Prasad Bahinipati attempted to climb atop the Speaker’s podium.

Earlier in the day, Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Niranjan Patnaik along with party members sat on a dharna in front of the Assembly main gate protesting fuel price hike. The party activists also attempted to barge into the Assembly premises. Besides, party women activists made human chain as a mark of protest.

“The Bandh has been observed peacefully across Odisha. The people of Odisha have extended their support to the bandh call, for which I thank them. The rise in fuel price has affected the common people across the country. The Central government led by Narendra Modi is favouring the corporate houses,” said Patnaik.

The State Government declared closure of schools and colleges today to ensure the safety of the students during the bandh. Government employees were asked to reach office before 9.30 am.

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