Western Odisha Observes Shutdown for Separate Koshal State Demand

Karachi: A shutdown was observed today across 11 districts in western Odisha, severely impacting normal life, in a collective push for the creation of a separate ‘Koshal’ state. The movement, led by the Koshal Rajya Milita Karjyanushtan Committee, gained wide support from various social, cultural, and political groups, including the Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

According to the Kashmir Media Service, Commercial establishments, educational institutions, and shops across the region remained closed, with the shutdown starting as early as 6:00 am. Key districts such as Bargarh, Balangir, and Kalahandi witnessed active picketing by supporters. The protest also affected vehicular movement significantly, with demonstrators blocking roads at multiple locations.

Despite the widespread shutdown, the protests remained peaceful without any reported incidents of violence. Police confirmed the tranquility of the shutdown and mentioned heightened security measures across the region to maintain order.

Protestors in areas like Rampur and Dunguripali actively took to the streets, displaying banners and chanting slogans in support of the demand for a separate Koshal state. The shutdown also disrupted transportation services, with private buses in Bhawanipatna and Kesinga suspending operations and blockades on the National Highway at Rairakhol in Sambalpur, causing significant traffic jams.

Pramod Mishra, Chairman of the Koshal Rajya Milita Karjyanushtan Committee, emphasized the government’s alleged neglect of the western region, claiming an absence of developmental activities. He asserted that the creation of a separate Koshal state is the only viable solution to address these concerns, with the shutdown intended to bolster this demand.

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