Left Front takes out protest rally against violent crackdown

Kolkata, Sep 3 (IANS) Condemning the Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government’s “violent crackdown” on its activists during the Wednesday’s strike, the opposition Left Front on Thursday took a protest rally in the city.

The rally from Subodh Mullick square to Entally in the city saw participation of leaders and activists from all Left parties and was led by Left Front chairman Biman Bose and leader of Opposition Surjya Kanta Mishra among others.

“Chief minister (Mamata Banerjee) and her Trinamool (Congress) feel threatened because of the response our successive agitations have attracted. That is why her party goons and police have been unleashing violence on us,” said Mishra also the Communist party of India-Marxist state secretary.

The Wednesday’s countrywide strike was called by trade unions and their affiliated labour organisations to press for increasing minimum wage to Rs.15,000 among other demands, while the peasants fronts of Left parties on Aug 27 had organised a march to the state secretariat demanding redressal of farmers’ issues in Bengal.

Both the agitations witnessed violence with the Left accusing the ruling Trinamool of using its police and goons to crackdown the movements. The Left claimed more than 200 people including two of its legislators – Insar Ali Biswas and Dhiren Bagdi and former MP Moinul Hassan were injured in attacks in Wednesday’s strike.

Nearly 1,000 people were arrested across the state. During the day, police slapped several charges against the Left activists and supporters including Hassan for destroying public property.

“If there is attack on us, more such protests will follow,” Bose said during the rally.

Countering the Left rally, the Trinamool also organised rallies in every block of the state condemning the “hooliganism” of the Marxists.

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