Sporadic violence in Bengal over general strike

Sporadic violence in Bengal over general strike

Police detain SUCI activists who were staging a road blockade in support of the trade unions' Bharat Bandh, in Kolkata. (PTI photo)

Sporadic violence and arson took place across the West Bengal on Wednesday during the national general strike. While supporters of the strike vandalised buses, staged road and rail blockades and pelted stones at police vehicles, police responded by firing tear gas shells, rubber bullets and baton charge.

The situation turned violent in Sujapur area of Malda district during a road blockade by protesters. They vandalised government buses, burnt tires on road and set ablaze more than half a dozen vehicles including a police vehicle. Soon protesters resorted to stone pelting at police and hurled bombs at them. Police responded with baton charging, firing tear gas shells and rubber bullets.

The protesters stopped government buses in Cooch Behar district and pelted stones at them. They were later chased away by police and several persons were arrested.

Clashes erupted between CPI(M) and police in the Jadavpur area of Kolkata when police resorted to baton charge to remove rail and road blockade by CPI(M) workers. A police vehicle was also vandalised by protesters. Senior CPI(M) MLA and leader of the Left Legislative party Sujan Chakraborty was arrested. during the protest.

Left Front workers clashed with Trinamool Congress (TMC) cadres opposing the strike in Lake Town and Dum Dum areas of the city.

Rail and road blockades were held in the districts of East Medinipur, and North 24 Parganas. Crude bombs were recovered on several roads and in one instance on rail track in North 24 Paraganas.

The incidents caused a verbal duel between West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and CPI(M) Politburo member Md. Salim. Accusing the Left and Congress of resorting to “thuggery” Banerjee said that now they are resorting to cheap politics to regain political relevance.

“We have already made it clear that there will be no strikes in Bengal. It is because of such destructive politics CPI(M) has been reduced to a signboard. But they are still resorting to cheap politics such as strikes. They did not organise any protest against the CAA and NRC and now they want to take shortcuts such as strike,” said Banerjee.

Rubbishing the allegations Salim said that it was the Chief Minister who instigated the TMC cadres and police to resort to violence.

“No supporters of the strike indulged in any kind of violence. The violence is the outcome of Mamata Banerjee’s instigation,” said Salim.

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