Balangir: Bandh was observed in 11 districts in western Odisha today demanding for the creation of a separate ‘Koshal’ state.
The bandh call given under the banner of Koshal Rajya Milita Karjyanushtan Committee was supported by different social oraganisations and political parties including the Congress and BJP to mount pressure on the government for a special statehood.
The protestors were seen picketing from 6 am in several places in Bargarh, Balangir and Kalahandi districts. The vehicular movement was affected, shops, business establishments and educational institutions were closed in many western districts due to the bandh.
The agitators alleged that the state government has been repeatedly neglecting the western region in many sectors. The western part of Odisha can be developed only when a separate state is created.
Koshal Rajya Milita Karjyanushtan Committee threatened to intensify the agitation in the coming days if the government fails to meet its demand.
However, Sambalpur remained unaffected as the district reportedly has not joined the protest. The Hirakhand Samukhya and Sambalpuri Language & Culture Council opposed the bandh. The shops, schools and colleges were found open in Sambalpur town.