Several hurt as Odisha Congress protest turns violent

The cops used water cannons, lobbed tear gas shells and resorted to cane-charge to disperse the irate crowd after the Congressmen allegedly stormed the barricade and attacked the police while advancing towards the state assembly which was in session, a senior police officer told IANS.

The site of the protest virtually turned into a battle ground later, with police and protestors chasing each other. "The crowd indulged in vandalism outside the assembly, forcing police to use force," the police officer said. On the other hand, a senior Congress leader said the protestors turned violent after police resorted to a lathi-charge.

It was the first massive rally that the state's main opposition Congress party held in state capital Bhubaneswar to highlight alleged failure of the state government on various fronts and demanding the resignation of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

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