By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, February 15, 2021:

Schools and colleges remained closed and shops and business establishments also downed their shutters. Vehicular traffic was most affected in many parts of the state with state run OSRTC and private buses were off the roads. Government offices, however, remained open with thin attendance as the bandh enforcers erected road blocks at many places particularly in the capital.

Lok Seva Bhawan in the capital was covered under a thick security blanket to avoid any untoward incident. Police personnel were also deployed in other important stretches like AG Square, Station Square, among others.

Train services were also affected as Congress workers staged a rail roko at many places. Congress workers led by legislator Suresh Kumar Routray staged a rail roko at the Bhubaneswar railway station and stopped the Lokamanya Tilak Express. Passengers arriving at the railway station faced a tough time to return to their destinations as most of the auto-rickshaws parked there remained off the road.

The bandh call was also given in protest against the government’s inaction in protecting the rights of the state in Mahanadi river water dispute with Chhattisgarh, growing crime against women, increasing number of political killings and other issues.

OPCC president Niranjan Patnaik said in the last seven years, the government has done very little for the marginalized sections of society. “The Centre is lowering corporate taxes but it is not waiving taxes on fuel. Both the Centre and the state government should reduce taxes on fuel,” he added.

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