press club of india, Indian Tehalka News
Even as Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee claimed that the all-India general strike called by the trade unions here on Wednesday was “unsuccessful”, normal life was severely affected in Kolkata and other parts of State, which observed a near total shut down.
The strike was marred by violent clashes between supporters of Left parties who tried to enforce the strike and ruling Trinamool Congress activists who opposed the strike.
There were very few people on streets, educational institutions and commercial establishments largely remained closed in the city. Though the State government had announced compensation to traders if their shops were attacked during the bandh, shops remained closed in the city and adjoining suburbs.
The government had issued a circular declaring absence of government employees on the day will be treated asdies non and no salary will be payable. During the day she claimed that attendance was higher than usual working days but the Opposition was quick to puncture holes in her claims.
Train services, both on the Eastern Railway and the South Eastern Railway, were hit as supporters blocked trains in several areas.
Among those injured in the violence were two sitting MLAs of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) Insar Ali Biswas from Hariharpara in Murshidabad district and Dhiren Bagdi, another lawmaker from Birbhum district. Former CPI (M) MP from Murshidabad Moinul Hasan was also baton charged by the police.
Siliguri Mayor Asok Bhattacharya along with CPI (M) Darjeeling district committee secretary Jibesh Sarkar was arrested in Siliguri.
Abhijit Majumdar, a leader of Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) and son of Charu Majumdar, legendary Naxal leader, was also arrested.
Ms Banerjee said that 974 people across the State including 21 in Kolkata were arrested.
At certain places like Konnagar in Hooghly district and at Ramgarh in Garia, CPI (M) offices were ransacked. Sodepur and Basirhat Railway stations in State’s North 24 Parganas turned into war zone between the Left and Trinamool supporters.
“The strike has been total and what is exemplary that first time since the 1970s people resisted the attacks unleashed by the ruling party and supported the strike,” Leader of Opposition Surjya Kanta Mishra said, adding that in days to come the ruling party will face more protests.
Dr Mishra refuted claims made by the Chief Minister and said that in industrial sectors like coal, steel and tea workers have supported the strike in large numbers.
From: The Hindu