West Bengal: Left parties call for 12-hour statewide bandh today
The Left Front has called for a 12-hour statewide bandh on Friday after Left and Congress activists were allegedly beaten up by the police on Thursday.
Following the announcement, the Mamata Banerjee administration cancelled all leaves and made attendance in government offices mandatory in a bid to foil the bandh.
Dozens of Congress and Left activists were injured following a clash with the police in central Kolkata on Thursday. The activists were marching towards the state secretariat at Nabanna with a set of demands, including jobs.
When police stopped them in central Kolkata, the activists tried to break the barricades and a clash followed. The police had to use water cannons, fire tear gas shells and resort to a lathi charge to disperse the activists. The activists attacked the police with stones and sticks.
“The way police unleashed atrocities on the participants in the march to Nabanna, it created a situation somewhat akin to the historic Jallianwala Bagh incident,” said a statement issued by Biman Bose, chairman of the Left Front.
Condemning the attack on the agitators, Congress Rajya Sabha MP Pradip Bhattacharya said that the Trinamool Congress government has lost the people’s faith and violent suppression of protests is an indication of that.
Left Front leaders said that the bandh was called after discussions with the Left Front constituents and the Congress party.
“It has been directed that all state government offices will remain open on Friday. No leave would be granted to employees. If an employee takes leave it would be considered as ‘dies-non’ and no salary will be admissible for the day,” said a senior official of the state finance department.