Bhubaneswar, Nov 12: Respecting Orissa High Court’s decision, the Congress party today observed a 6-hour hartal across the state over Mamita Meher murder case. The effect of party’s hartal was well marked in twin cities, Cuttack and Bhubaneswar.
Seeking justice for Mamita’s family, the party has demanded the resignation of the Minister of State (MoS) for Home Dibya Shankar Mishra for his alleged connection with Govind Sahu, the prime accused in Mamita Meher murder case. Besides, the party has also demanded a CBI probe into the matter.
Giving anti-state government slogans, the Congress party members held picketing at several places in Bhubaneswar. Many senior leaders and party members staged protests at the Master Canteen area of Bhubaneswar.
Congress MLA Suresh Chandra Routray said, “Respecting High Court’s decision, the Congress party is observing a 6-hour hartal across the state today. We are observing it peacefully and people of the state support our hartal. Many people refuse to open their stores or come out of their homes to support our cause. We don’t have to force them to do anything. We want justice for Mamita and Minister Dibya Shankar Mishra should resign from his post.”
Senior Congress leader Jaydev Jena said, “We respect High Court’s decision. The congress party always believed in peaceful protest and today we also observed the peaceful hartal. However, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and the BJD failed miserably in their attempt to sabotage Congress’s protest. People supported our protest. We can all see that the Pari murder case has remained unsolved. She was not given justice. We will, however, ensure that Mamita Meher and her family receive justice. Minister Dibya Shankar Mishra Should resign from his post, or else Naveen should resign from Chief Minister’s post”.
The effect of 6-hour hartal was also well marked in Cuttack. Congress activists were seen distributing chocolates among the locals in order to thank them to support the 6-hour hartal.
“Cuttack’s people are entirely supportive of our hartal. We observed it quietly in accordance with the high court’s judgement. However, the action taken by the commisenorate police was completely bizarre. Following court’s order, the commisenorate police van literally announced that there was no bandh. I mean, I’ve never seen police in such a high-action mode in any of the crime cases that I’ve witnessed in the past few days”, said an agitating Congress worker.
Though congress workers staged demonstrations in different parts of the twin cities, no disruption was marked in normal life. The local shops and commercial establishments remained open during the hartal. Besides, vehicles are plying on the road. All essential services including medical and health services are operating during the hartal.
Worth mentioning, the party had decided to observe 6-hour bandh across the state. However, the Orissa High Court on Thursday ordered that the bandh is not permitted, but if the party wants, it can organise a hartal.
The court further told Congress that since they have the right to protest, they can do it but in a peaceful manner without any bandh and without forcing anyone.
Following the court’s decision, the party observed a 6-hour hartal in different parts of the state and the effect of the hartal was also well marked in different parts of the twin cities.