Train services were disrupted, buses torched, shops forced shut and office-goers heckled in stray incidents of violence as supporters of the Bharatiya Janata Party took to the streets to enforce a 12-hour State-wide bandh called by the party on Monday to protest against rising prices and an increase in power tariff.
The police arrested more than 200 protesters in connection with the violence across the State, Inspector-General of Police (Law and Order) Surajit Kar Purakayastha said.
Traffic was disrupted in several parts of the city and the surrounding metropolitan area as BJP supporters targeted buses and cars. Three buses were set on fire and several others attacked by supporters carrying the party flag.
As a result of the agitation at nearly 40 stations, two trains were cancelled, several long-distance and local trains detained, and 10 others rescheduled.
Bandh supporters also attacked the premises of government offices and those of private companies, particularly targeting some IT companies and obstructing employees from reporting to work.
Calling the bandh a success due to the participation of the people, State BJP president Rahul Sinha said: “Common people fully supported our protest against the decision of the State government to hike the cost of electricity at a time when the people are already reeling under the effects of rising prices.”
Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, however, said supporters of the BJP worked with cadres of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) to enforce the bandh. “By failing to control the violence, the CPI(M) has again proven that there is no law and order and a total constitutional breakdown. The administration in the State has collapsed,” she added.