Bharat Bandh supporters block trains, roads; clash with the police across West Bengal
Trains services were disrupted and roads were blocked even as bandh supporters clashed with the police in multiple places in West Bengal during the 24-hour Bharat Bandh called by the central trade unions on Thursday.
At some places, bandh supporters didn’t allow buses to ply and asked passengers to get off the public transport. Shops were damaged in central Kolkata when bandh supporters allegedly hurled bricks and used sticks to break windshields of buses in Cooch Behar.
At Taratala in Kolkata, a scuffle broke out between the police and BJP workers as the latter took out a rally against the bandh. Later, police had to resort to lathi charge and a few people were arrested. Senior BJP leaders were supposed to attend the rally.
In central Kolkata, passengers were asked to get off buses even as bandh supporters claimed no one was forced. Such incidents were also reported from districts like Barasat in North 24 Parganas.
At Lenin Sarani in Kolkata, bandh supporters could be seen damaging shops. Protests were also stationed outside Metro stations. Many shops in Kolkata and other areas across the districts remained closed.
“Some groups were protesting outside Dum Dum, Chandni Chowk and Central Metro stations. There were attempts to enter the Metro station but those failed. There was no disruption in Metro services,” said Kolkata Metro spokesperson.
Protesters dumped objects such as banana leaves and tree branches on overhead wires and sat on railway tracks to block trains. Such incidents were reported from multiple places, including Canning and Jhargram.
The Mamata Banerjee-administration in West Bengal has made it mandatory for government officials to attend office on Thursday to foil the Bharat Bandh called by trade unions. Passengers had a harrowing time in reaching their destinations.
“I had to go to Kolkata but had to abandon the idea as train services were disrupted and bandh supporters were clashing with the police at many places,” said Arindam Das, a resident of Gosaba in South 24 Parganas.
Bandh supporters also clashed with police in many places such as Barasat, Kamarhati and Durgapur.