Shutdown affects normal life in West Bengal (Lead: West Bengal shutdown)

November 14th, 2007 - 8:09 am ICT by admin  
“We are protesting in a very peaceful manner. We do not want any violence occurring here. But if some incident takes place, it will be the sole responsibility of the State Government and the authorities,” said Mamata Banerjee, Chief of Trinamool Congress.

Streets wore a deserted look as vehicular traffic and movement of private buses, taxis and autorickshaws were mostly off, while the movement of government buses and trams were thin.

“The way the political parties do all this in the form of these shutdowns, will not bring any relief to common people,” said Arun, a resident.

Several private educational institutions remained closed in the wake of the shutdown. The Information Technology (IT) sector was exempted from the shutdown.

“The problem is that after every two days, we have a shutdown. We have international business dealings that get affected with these strikes. And end up losing Rs 10,000-20,000 per day due to these strikes,” said Anant Kartik, a visiting businessman.

According to reports, the train services were affected at various places of Sealdah and Howrah division.

There were reports of rail blockades from Hooghly and South 24 Parganas district.

“The protestors obstructed road and rail traffic at different places but there was no report of any untoward incident till 9 a.m.,” said Inspector General of Police (Law and Order) Raj Kanojia.

Tight security arrangements have been made to avoid any untoward incident.

Armed police and the Rapid Action Force (RAF) have been pressed into service at the Hazra crossing area in the city.

The protestors are demanding that peace be restored in Nandigram, which has been witnessing sporadic clashes between the activists of the CPI-M and the Trinamool Congress over land acquisitions.

At least three persons were killed and several others injured in a bomb blast in Nandigram on October 27. There were also clashes between BUPC activists and CPM supporters in which one person died.

Sporadic clashes between rival groups have continued despite the State government’s decision against the setting up of a chemical hub in the area in the face of protests from a section of the people there. (ANI)

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