Bhim Army’s ‘Bharat Bandh’ hits life in Odisha’s Sambalpur, Rayagada

Sambalpur/Rayagada: Life came to a standstill in several parts of western Odisha including Sambalpur, Rayagada and Balangir following protests by Bhim Army which has given a ‘Bharat Bandh’ call against a Supreme Court ruling against reservation system recently.

Bhim Army members staged a rail-roko at Sambalpur railway station and intercepted the Sambalpur-Puri Intercity Express for several hours. They resorted to sloganeering against the Apex court’s ruling in which it said, “Reservation is not a fundamental right.”

The Bhim Army members also blocked all roads passing through Sambalpur due to which vehicular movement to Rourkela, Jharsuguda, Sundergarh, Deogarh, Keonjhar, Bargarh, Balangir and Sonepur was disrupted.

The bandh called by Bhim Army was supported by eight other organisations including Dalit Samaj, Ambedkar Party of India and BSP.

Notably, While hearing a group of appeals on reservations to SCs and STs in promotions in the posts of Assistant Engineer (Civil) in PWD, Uttarakhand on February 7, a two-judge bench of Supreme Court observed that it’s not a fundamental right to claim reservations in promotions.

Article 16 (4) of the Constitution is only an enabling provision, the bench maintained.

Bhim Army is demanding that the Centre should bring an ordinance to nullify the Apex Court ruling immediately.

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