Normal life was disrupted during a 12-hour bandh in Kalahandi district called by various political parties and outfits in protest against certificate verification of candidates from other districts for appointments to Sikhya Sahayak posts Wednesday.
Since 6 am, the agitators burnt tyres and laid large pipes on roads while staging blockades at various intersections such as Manikeshwari High School Square, Dayanidhi Square, Ghodaghat Square, Jail Square and other places to enforce the bandh call.
The bandh threw life out of gear as commuters had a harrowing time. All business establishments, schools, colleges, courts and offices remained closed while vehicles stopped plying during the period. The impact of the bandh was felt the most in Bhawanipatna town while it was partial in other places of the district.
As a result of the bandh, candidates from other districts who had applied for Sikhya Sahayak posts were put to untold sufferings on the third and last day of their certificate verification. Many candidates who had come for certificate verification were seen walking on the highway to Bhawanipatna town.
A disabled candidate Jaladhar Palei coming from Puri were seen being carried on shoulders by his guardian for over 6 km from the Bhawanipatna railway station to the DIET centre for certificate verification.
All the CT and BEd trained candidates from the district and members of various political parties except the BJD as well as many local outfits supported the bandh.
The district administration, to thwart of any untoward incident, had turned the town into a fortress by deploying police forces at major intersections and entry and exit points of the town.
A delegation of the protestors led by former minister Pradipta Nayak, BJP vice-president Badri Narayan Pattanik and PCC secretary Simanta Khamari broke the police cordon and tried to barge inside the DIET centre after their talks with the collector failed. Police arrested them as they scuffled with the former.
A total of 3,835 shortlisted candidates from in and outside of the district had applied for 1,605 (553 posts for BSc BEd, 374 BA BEd, 506 Plus Two Science CT and 272 Plus Two Arts CT) Sikshya Sahayaks posts in Kalahandi district.
The district Sarva Sikhya Abhiyan authorities had invited the candidates for certificate verification to the DIET office for three days starting January 29.
The agitators said aspirants from the district have been waiting for the Sikhya Sahayak jobs for the last six years.
The state government, however, made the appointments statewide enabling candidates from other districts to apply for the post in Kalahandi. This led to resent among the local job seekers