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West Odisha bandh on August 26

Koshal State Co-Ordination Committee has decided to observe a 12-hour bandh in western Odisha on August 26 demanding a separate state status for Koshal region. Members of 42 organisations from ten districts from western Odisha met to form the Koshal State Co-Ordination Committee to fight for the separate state as a unit.

This was decided at a meeting at Balangir on Sunday.

Chairman of the central committee of KKD Pramod Mishra said the bandh is the first step in the series of agitations that they have planned.

“During the bandh, we will make sure that business establishments, Government offices and educational institutions remain closed. Vehicular traffic will also be paralysed,” he said. He also appealed to political leaders of the region to support their cause.

General secretary of the Balangir Lekhak Parishad Gagan Mohanty said his organisation would extend support to the cause as it has been fighting for separate Koshal state since 1984.

The meet also urged various constitutional bodies of the region such as the gram sabhas, gram panchayats, municipalities and other important bodies such as merchant associations, bar associations, citizen’s committees and civil societies to pass resolutions in support of the separate state.

Mohan Sahu, who came from Bargarh, said people from some districts of the Koshal region had a sceptical attitude towards Sambalpur district.

“I have observed that people of some districts of the region are not convinced that people of Sambalpur are with them. They believe that people of Sambalpur always walk away with the cake. This is a dangerous mindset and we will have to change this,” he said.

On Friday, several organisations led by KKD staged rail roko at different places. Working president of KKD BN Mishra said a delegation will soon proceed to New Delhi to meet President Pranab Mukherjee on the issue.
Koshal West Odisha State
“Koshalanchal has its own identity. Its culture and language are different from rest of Odisha. Formation of Koshal state will solve many problems and the area will be freed from poverty and malnutrition,” he said.

Mishra further said regional imbalance is the main cause of backwardness of western Odisha. It is unfortunate that successive State Governments have failed to reduce the widening gap, he added.

On August 3, the KKD had staged road blockade and a signature campaign has been launched since July 15 on the issue.

The KKD has decided to collect one crore signatures and hand it over to the President along with a memorandum to press their long pending demand.

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