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Teacher murder: 6-hour 'hartal' by Congress in Odisha demanding Dibya Shankar Mishra's removal

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Bhubaneswar, Nov 12: The opposition Congress held a six-hour 'hartal' on Friday against Minister of State for Home, Dibya Shankar Mishra, for his alleged links with the prime accused in the Kalahandi teacher kidnap and murder case.

Mamita Meher, a private school teacher, was murdered last month.

Teacher murder: Odisha Congress to observe hartal today

The 'hartal' began at 6 am amidst tight security and is peaceful so far with no report of any untoward incident in the incident, police said. All non-BJD parties are supporting the 'hartal'.

But none prevented plying of vehicles or forced shops and business establishments to down shutters as security personnel stood guard at major points Many party activists were seen requesting people to observe the hartal for the sake of security of women in the state.

In Cuttack some hartal supporters were seen offering chocolates to the people to solicit their support. Markets and owners of big shops were, however, closed fearing violence.

Small shops were open and some vehicles operated across the state. Buses were seen plying in Bhubaneswar but there were few passengers. Many people preferred to stay indoors due to the inclement weather.

Government and private offices witnessed normal attendance as there was no road blockade or rail roko anywhere.

"We are holding the hartal peacefully as per the high court direction. People on their own stayed put in their houses. The people of Odisha, particularly women, have now realized that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has been shielding the minister of state for home," said senior Congress leader and MLA Suresh Routray.

The hartal impacted life in Bolangir, the native place of the murdered woman teacher, and Kalahandi, where she was killed and buried. Paradip Port, Nalco, and other industries in the state functioned as usual as the protesters did not stage road blockdes, a senior police officer said.

with PTI inputs

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