Ballia, April 16 (H.S.). The Ballia bandh called on Saturday by journalist organizations demanding the release of three journalists arrested in the paper leak case received widespread support. From the district headquarters to the far flung towns, shops remained closed in support of the journalists in the markets.

UP Board’s Intermediate English exam paper was leaked on March 29. In this, the STF along with the district police had arrested about 48 people including District School Inspector Brijesh Mishra and three journalists Ajit Ojha, Digvijay Singh and Manoj Kumar Gupta. After which journalists started protests under the banner of United Front. Accusing the administration of arbitrariness, journalists called for a Ballia bandh on Saturday. Since morning, groups of journalists had left in different areas. Rural journalists were busy in closing the Chatti intersections in their respective areas. The effect of which was that most of the shops in the city and rural areas were seen closed from morning till afternoon. The traders openly supported the journalists. As a result, many roads remained deserted for hours. Even tea shops were closed. Shops at Station Chowk Road and Gudri Bazar also opened after a long time. The police also clashed with the journalists who were shutting down at many places. In view of the security, the force of many more police stations was called at the district headquarters. Advocates organizations, students, teachers and workers of SP were also in support of the bandh.