Normal life was partially affected in West Bengal on Thursday as a result of a nationwide commerce union strike — the primary for the reason that lockdown — throughout which sporadic clashes had been reported in a number of elements of the state.
Around 449 individuals had been arrested in the state, 140 of them in Kolkata, whereas attempting to implement the strike, which started at 6 am, police mentioned.
The CPI(M) claimed that the 24-hour bandh referred to as by a joint committee of the central commerce unions in protest in opposition to the Centre’s financial insurance policies turned out to be a “complete success in West Bengal”.
The strike, which was additionally supported by the Congress, was extra of a litmus take a look at for each the events, which appear to be testing waters forward of the meeting polls in the state.
Bandh supporters, largely activists of CPI(M)- affiliated outfits corresponding to CITU and DYFI, introduced out rallies in Jadavpur, Garia, Kamalgazi and Dumdum areas, moreover different elements of the state, disrupting vehicular motion and asking shopkeepers to tug down shutters, an official mentioned.
They picketed outdoors Howrah railway station, threatening car operators to cease providers, however a big police contingent, deployed in the world, ensured automobiles plied usually, he mentioned.
Left activists blocked roads in Central Avenue, Hastings, Shyambazar and Moulali areas of Kolkata, whereas Congress staff tried to close down retailers in Burrabazar space, triggering stress, he mentioned.
Left Front Chairman Biman Bose led the protesters, as they restricted site visitors motion at Mallickbazar Crossing.
He alleged that the TMC authorities was attempting to muzzle a “spontaneous people’s movement” with brute power.
SFI activists blocked a portion of the highway close to Jadavpur 8B bus terminus and performed soccer and desk tennis.
Protesters clashed with the police at Barasat and Belgharia in North 24 Parganas, Paschim Barddhaman’s Durgapur, Coochbehar’s Mathabhanga, Dhupguri in Jalpaiguri and Midnapore city in Paschim Medinipur district, the official mentioned.
Suburban trains in the Sealdah division and Howrah- Kharagpur part got here to a halt as agitators sat on railway tracks at a number of stations, a railway spokesperson mentioned.
Kolkata Metro providers, nonetheless, weren’t affected.
Flight, too, took off from the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport as per schedule, an official mentioned.
Banking providers had been partially affected in elements of the state as many branches and ATMs remained closed.
Operations on the Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port’s Kolkata Dock System confronted a brief setback, as 70 per cent of everlasting staff and 50 per cent of contractual staff didn’t be part of work in the town, officers mentioned, including that the Haldia dock functioned usually.
The strike had an opposed impression on the state’s jute business, with many mills remaining closed and a handful working at 30-50 per cent capability, sources on the Indian Jute Mills Association mentioned.
Several tea gardens in the Dooars area in North Bengal didn’t perform throughout the day, however the strike had little impact on the estates in Darjeeling Hills, a senior commerce union chief mentioned.
The bandh additionally affected coal manufacturing in the mines of the Eastern Coalfields Ltd in the western a part of the state, sources mentioned.
The TMC didn’t help the strike however mentioned it backed the problems flagged by the Left and the Congress.
“We are opposed to any bandh as we don’t believe in inconveniencing people. But we support the reason for which it has been called,” Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee mentioned.
CPI (M) politburo member Mohammed Salim mentioned that the strike was a “success” in Bengal.
Attempts by the state administration to scuttle the agitation show the idea of “tacit understanding” between the TMC and the BJP, he alleged.
“The BJP, through its protest at Majerhat, and the CM, through her press conference, tried to divert attention from the success of the strike,” he acknowledged.
Senior Congress chief and MP Pradip Bhattacharya additionally echoed Salim and mentioned “had the TMC been serious about supporting the reason for the bandh, its members would have joined the agitation.
Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh claimed that the way the TMC administration gave a free run to the agitators, it proves a “grand alliance of the TMC, CPI(M) and Congress” is in the offing.
“We have seen how the CPI(M) and Congress were allowed to have a free run. This proves a grand alliance is in the offing. We have defeated grand alliance in Bihar, and we will defeat it in Bengal also,” Ghosh mentioned. PTI SUS AMR BSM PNT RMS RMS