More than 1,000 activists of Orissa's regional party Kosala Kranti Dal Wednesday staged a peaceful demonstration here, demanding a separate statehood comprising the state's 11 districts, police said.
The activists gathered near the state assembly building and marched on a main street of state capital Bhubaneswar, carrying posters and banners.
'Over 1,000 people staged a peaceful demonstration,' police officer Utkal Keshari Das told IANS.
A public meeting was later held in which dozens of speakers of the regional party described how their regions were continuously neglected by the state and central governments.
'We have separate Kosali language. Our culture and traditions are different. Our regions are the poorest in India despite having huge mineral and forest wealth,' party head Pramod Mishra said in his address.
'Only a separate Kosal state can improve the condition of our people,' he said.
The demand for separate state of Kosal picked momentum in Orissa after the central government decided to carve Telangana out of Andhra Pradesh.
The Kosala Kranti Dal wants a new state comprising the districts of Bargarh, Bolangir, Boudh, Deogarh, Jharsuguda, Kalahandi, Koraput, Nuapada, Sambalpur, Subarnapur and Sundergarh.
These districts suffer from poverty, malnutrition, high infant mortality rate and backwardness.