Normal life in West Bengal was disrupted on Friday morning on account of a 12-hour statewide bandh called by the Left parties in protest against the police action on their activists during a march on Thursday, PTI reported.
On Thursday evening, police baton charged and used water cannons and tear gas shells on student and youth activists of Left parties during their march from Kolkata’s College Street to the state secretariat Nabanna demanding jobs, The Hindu reported. Several protestors were injured and many of them were arrested.
Later in the evening, Biman Bose, the chairperson of the Left Front in West Bengal, announced the 12-hour bandh from 6 am to 6 pm in the state, The Indian Express reported. The Congress also extended support to the bandh.
Meanwhile, supporters of the Left parties blocked railway tracks and roads at several parts of the state since Friday morning, including in Kolkata.
At some places, like in Entally area of Kolkata, the protestors resorted to damaging vehicles and forcefully shutting down shops, according to ABP Ananda. Some protestors were arrested from the city’s Shyambazar five-point crossing after they blocked roads by burning tyres. On the other hand in places like Chiria More in Kolkata, they gave chocolates and roses to police personnel.
Left Front leader Sujan Chakraborty told PTI that people have spontaneously responded in favour of the bandh. He assured that school students have not been prevented from physically attending their classes. Schools in the state reopened on Friday for students of classes 9 to 12 after a gap of 11 months.
The West Bengal government has opposed the call for a bandh and issued a notice urging all government employees to report for work on Friday, according to PTI. Those who don’t will face salary deductions, the notice stated.