Bengal Bandh: BJP called shutdown hits normal life

Kolkata: Rail-blockades in many stations and sporadic incidents across West Bengal districts partially hit normal life in a 12-hour called shutdown by the BJP on Wednesday.

Vehicular traffic though remained near normal.

Following the killing of two youths during a clash between agitating students and the police last week over the recruitment of new teachers at a school at Islampur in North Dinajpur district, the Bharatiya Janata Party called the shutdown claiming the two were shot dead by the police.

They have demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation probe into the incident.

The shutdown supporters put up rail blockades and clashed with the police in many stations in the suburbs in South 24 Parganas district’s Diamond Harbour, Lakhikantapur, Canning; North 24 Pargans’ Jaggadal, Kakinara, Madhaygram; Hooghly’s Konnagar; East Midnapore’s Mecheda and Howrah’s Phuleswar.

Train services were disrupted both in Howrah and Sealdah division of the Eastern Railway.

Fresh obstructions were made at Titagarh, Aranghata (Ranaghat Gede section), Krishnanagar, Barasat, Pyradanga (Kalyani Ranaghat section) and Bhabla (Barasat Bangaon) in the Sealdah division.

In the Howrah division, agitators obstructed train movement at Bansberia (Bandel Katwa section) and at Baidyabati (Howrah Bandel section).

The BJP activists, who took out rallies in many places, vandalised a number of state government buses in Howrah and Coochbehar districts.

In Kolkata, though, people hit the streets in the morning and many public and private buses, taxis, autos were seen plying normally on the roads. Most shops though remained closed.

State Minister and Trinamool Congress’ Secretary General Partha Chatterjee had said that the government would take all measures to maintain public utility services.

State BJP President Dilip Ghosh has said there would be repercussions if the ruling Trinamool deploys hooligans or uses the administration to foil the movement.

The state government has issued a circular stating its offices would remain open on Wednesday and no leave would be granted. It also urged banks, educational institutions including schools and colleges to remain open.

Additional police personnel have been deployed throughout the state to prevent any disruption or violence in connection with the shutdown.