Normal life was affected in some pockets in Kandhamal district on Thursday, the first day of the two-day bandh call given by tribal organisation Kui Samaj Samanwaya Samiti (KSSS).
The KSSS had given this bandh call on Wednesday and Thursday demanding appointment of candidates only from Kandhamal and Boudh districts for the posts of shikshya sahayaks in Kandhamal. According to the policy of the State government candidates from any district were eligible for posts of shishya sahayaks in any other district of the State. But KSSS was opposed to this policy and wanted only local candidates to be appointed to the post.
According to the police, no untoward incidents were reported from any part of the district during the first day of the bandh call. Security was tight throughout the district.
Effect of the bandh was most evident in district headquarters town of Phulbani, Khajuripda, Phiringia, Nuagaon, etc. In these places passenger vehicles remained off the road and commercial establishments remained closed. In Phulbani educational institutions, petrol pumps and branches of banks also remained closed. Impact of the bandh was also felt in other parts as no passenger vehicles travelled from these places to other parts. But shops and business establishments remained open in places like Baliguda, G.Udaygiri, Chakapada, Tumudibandh etc.
Speaking to The Hindu , leader of KSSS, Lambodar Kanhar, said they resorted to this bandh call as the government did not even try to hold talks with them regarding their demand. On October 9, a group of persons including activists KSSS and its leader Mr. Kanhar had allegedly manhandled candidates from outside Kandhamal district who had come over to Phulbani for document verification for the posts of shikshya sahayaks. Mr. Kanhar had been arrested after the incident.
But this bandh call of KSSS also faced opposition in Kandhamal district. Kandhamal Vikash Parishad (VKP) has opposed this bandh call with the statement that there was no need to disrupt day-to-day life of common man as the issue could be settled amicably.