1500 arrested in Orissa during Bharat Bandh | india | Hindustan Times
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1500 arrested in Orissa during Bharat Bandh

india Updated: Jul 05, 2010 21:38 IST

Around 1500 bandh supporters were arrested Monday in Orissa during the country-wide bandh called by a combined opposition against petro price hike which hit life across the state stalling road and rail traffic.

The bandh, called separately by non-UPA political parties, was marked by stray incidents amid tight security.

"The bandh, which remained peaceful, was a complete success," ruling BJD president and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik told newsmen at the state secretariat here.

Despite BJD's support to the bandh, state government offices remained open and employees were asked to reach their work places early. Besides Naveen Patnaik, four other ministers attended office.

State Home Secretary A P Padhi said about 1500 bandh supporters, including BJP state unit president Jual Oram were arrested while picketing to enforce the bandh.

While Oram was held along with about 150 BJP workers while picketing in the state capital, around 200 bandh supporters were arrested in Sambalpur. In Rourkela, about 215 of them were taken into custody, police sources said.

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

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

While leaders of BJD and Left parties described the hartal as a "complete success", Congress leaders dubbed it as a "melodrama and gimmick".

Employees of NALCO were prevented 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.

In Paradip, bandh supporters forced the administrative building of Paradip Port Trust to be closed for over two hours in the morning, but loading and unloading activities in the port was normal.

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 with the steel plant there functioning as usual but shops and business outfits downed their shutters and trains were stopped.