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Cong paralyses life in Odisha

Thousands of people were taken into preventive custody Monday in Odisha during a dawn-to-dusk shutdown called by the Congress party to protest police excesses on its workers during a party rally here last week, an official said. 'About 2,400 people have been taken into preventive custody so far,' a senior state police official said.

Except the burning of a bus by some protestors at Bhubaneswar, no other untoward incidents have been reported from any part of the state so far, he added. The protest has been peaceful,' he said.

The prominent among those taken into preventive custody include state Congress chief Niranjan Patnaik, leader of the opposition in the state assembly Bhupinder Singh and former chief minister Hemananda Biswal.

Public transport was badly affected in most of the state's towns as buses and taxis went off the roads. Trains were stranded at different railway stations as Congress workers squatted on railway tracks. Workers shouted anti-government slogans, burned tyres on roads, carried out processions and set fire to the effigies of chief minister Naveen Patnaik at several places.

In Bhubaneswar, workers of the main opposition party gathered near bus stands, railway stations and government and private offices and picketed them.

Shops, showrooms, restaurants, banks, financial and educational institutions were found closed across the state. Although a few government offices were running in but attendances were thin.

The works at different courts, including in the High Court at Cuttack was also hit. 'd reporters.

At least 100 people, including protestors and several policemen, were injured 7 September when the rally by the Congress against the Naveen Patnaik-led government turned violent.
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