Bhubaneswar: A 12-hour shutdown called by lawyers demanding a high court bench in western Odisha hit normal life across the region Wednesday, a protesting lawyers’ leader said.

The lawyers picketed at railway stations and squatted on railway tracks, forcing several trains to run behind schedules.

Both commercial and passenger vehicles also stayed off the roads as the agitators blocked the roads by setting fire to tyres on roads at different places.

“It was total success. Shops, businesses, educational institutions, government and private offices, courts were closed. Lawyers staged demonstrations in several towns including Sambalpur, Jharsuguda, Deogarh and Bargarha,” lawyers’ leader Pradip Bohidar told IANS.

Sambalpur-Puri Intercity Express and Sambapur-Rayagada Express were among the several trains which were affected by the protest at Khetrajpur railway station at the district headquarters town of Sambalpur, about 320 km from state capital Bhubaneswar.

The strike by lawyers of Western Orissa Bar Association (WOBA) was supported by political parties and NGOs.

The state government said it favoured setting up of a permanent bench of the Odisha High Court in the region and hax already initiated steps in this regard.

Source: IANS