Normal life was hit across Odisha today due to a dawn-to-dusk shutdown called separately by the Congress and the BJP to seek justice for a 14-year-old tribal girl who committed suicide after alleging rape by four men in uniform three months ago.
Shops, business establishments, markets, offices, banks and financial institutions remained shut, while vehicular movement came to a grinding halt across the state during the shutdown, police said.
Many trains were stopped at different places including Bhubaneswar, Sambalpur, and Bhadrak as strike supporters staged rail roko leaving a large number of passengers stranded.
Roads wore a deserted look all over and buses also stayed off roads fearing violence.
Schools and colleges across the state remained closed for the safety of students, while examinations scheduled for the day would be shifted to a suitable date, officials said.
The impact of the bandh was also felt in Cuttack, Puri, Berhampur, Sambalpur, Balasore, Bhadrak, Rourkela, Sundargarh, Jharsuguda, Bargarh, Jagatsinghpur, Jajpur, Kendrapara and Koraput.
After the tribal girl ended her life on Monday, Congress called for dawn-to-dusk state-wide bandh, while BJP is observing a 12-hour strike from 6 am demanding a CBI probe into the whole episode and action against culprits.
Congress also demanded the resignation of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on the moral ground following the suicide of the girl.
Senior BJP leaders including Surama Padhi and Pratap Sarangi also blamed the chief minister for the tragedy and said the stir over the issue would be intensified.