12-hour West Bengal BJP bandh: sporadic violence, shops and offices temporarily shut

first_imgShops, business establishments and offices were partly closed in Kolkata and parts of West Bengal in the early hours on Wednesday following a 12-hour bandh call given by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).At least two buses were set on fire by the supporters of the bandh in Islampur in north Bengal where two students were killed during the alleged police firing last week. However, it is not clear yet if the police or unknown gunmen fired at the students.In many places the BJP supporters were seen in fierce fist fights with the supporters of Trinamool Congress (TMC), opposing the day-long bandh. TMC’s Secretary General and Minister Partha Chatterjee called it’s a “flop show”.“BJP is a flop party and so is the bandh. People have not participated in the bandh and schools, colleges or business establishments are open. Both public and private offices are functioning despite BJP’s hooliganism,” Mr. Chatterjee said.BJP’s State President Dilip Ghosh said that the bandh was “spontaneous”.“We appealed to people and they have responded observing the bandh. It is successful. We have not stopped anyone or forced anyone to observe the bandh. We have resisted TMC cadres where they attacked our cadres,” Mr. Ghosh said.Clashes between TMC and BJP’s supporters broke out in South Dinajpur and North Dinajpur, parts of West Burdwan and West Midnapore districts when rallies taken out by the BJP in support of the bandh came face to face with processions taken out by the TMC denouncing it, the police said.Bandh supporters pelted stones at buses and tyres were set afire to stop the traffic in Midnapore district, said a district police official.Stone pelting incidents were reported in Shyambazar and Sealdah areas in the metropolis as well.Rallies were taken out by BJP leaders in Kolkata in support of the bandh, while TMC leaders were seen on the streets trying to ensure that the life remained normal.However, by the middle of the day majority of the shops were open in Kolkata and traffic movement increased. The number of commuters in the city’s streets remained less compared to other days.Party workers staged blockades at Chengail, Andul and Ramrajatala stations in the Howrah-Kharagpur section of South Eastern Railway, affecting suburban train services in the section.But services were normal by mid-day, said South Eastern Railway spokesperson Sanjoy Ghosh.(with agency inputs)last_img

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