Normal life disrupted in north Bengal over BJP’s 12-hour bandh call
Normal life was hit in the eight districts of North Bengal on Friday after a 12-hour bandh call was given by the BJP over the alleged killing of a Rajbangshi youth and party activist Mrityunjay Burman in police firing at Kaliyaganj in north Dinajpur district.
Kolkata: Normal life was hit in the eight districts of North Bengal on Friday after a 12-hour bandh call was given by the BJP over the alleged killing of a Rajbangshi youth and party activist Mrityunjay Burman in police firing at Kaliyaganj in north Dinajpur district.
In Cooch Behar district, clashes broke out between the ruling Trinamool Congress and opposition BJP activists on Friday morning. The BJP leadership alleged that goons backed by the ruling party unleashed unprovoked attacks on their supporters while the latter were undergoing peaceful picketing in support of the 12-hour bandh.
However, Trinamool Congress leadership said the clashes broke out after the local people protested against the forceful attempts by the BJP supporters to disrupt normal life in the district over the bandh. The ruling party leadership also alleged that the BJP supporters pelted stones at buses carrying passengers to enforce the bandh.
At places in Cooch Behar district, the BJP supporters were seen resorting to road blockades and protesting by burning tyres.
Clashes between police forces and the BJP supporters have also been reported from the Jalpaiguri district.
As Trinamool Congress’s national general secretary and the party Lok Sabha member Abhishek Banerjee is supposed to hold a public meeting in the district on Friday, there has been a massive deployment of police force in the district. Since Friday morning, the security personnel tried to prevent the BJP supporters from enforcing the bandh, which resulted in clashes in certain pockets of the district.
A total of 16 BJP supporters, including the party legislator from the Kumargram Assembly constituency in Jalpaiguri district, were arrested by the police on Friday morning while they were picketing in support of the bandh.
Tension also broke out at Siliguri, the prime township in Darjeeling district as the BJP supporters led by the local party legislator Shankar Ghosh started protesting by sitting in front of the police vehicles. This led to a scuffle between the police personnel and agitating BJP supporters. Ghosh was arrested later. “Police are working as agents of the ruling party. A Rajbangshi youth was shot by police. BJP had the courage to hit the streets in protest,” Ghosh said.
Stray incidents of clashes either between the ruling and opposition party activists or between the police personnel and bandh supporters were also reported from other districts in north Bengal, namely Malda and North Dinajpur.
The North Bengal development minister Udayan Guha alleged that the BJP supporters being isolated from the people in general are resorting to such hooliganism to enforce the bandh. “But this will isolate them from people further,” he said.