The arrest of Trinamool Congress leaders, including General Secretary Partha Chatterjee after they sat on a dharna before the chief minister's chamber at the state secretariat, sparked off road blockades in the metropolis and elsewhere in West Bengal this evening.
Angry Trinamool Congress workers spilled onto the streets in the metropolis bringing rush hour traffic to a halt resulting in massive traffic jams to protest the arrest of Chatterjee, the Leader of the Opposition and the other MLAs.
Apart from Chatterjee, Trinamool MLAs Jyotipriyo Mallick, Ashok Deb and Swarnakamal Saha were arrested after they went on dharna before the chamber of Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee to protest alleged lawlessness in the state.
The sudden blockade took thousands of people on their way home from work by surprise.
Also stranded were people who were heading for the Howrah and Sealdah railway stations on their way home for Diwali.
Express buses to Bihar, Orissa and towns in North Bengal were caught up in the traffic snarls.
Kolkata Police sources said that almost all main roads were hit by the blockades, but there was no untoward incident.
Sources in West Bengal Police said that traffic on highways in districts like Howrah, Hooghly, South and North 24 Parganas had come to a standstill.