Kolkata gears up for Trinamool’s Martyr’s Day rally

Kolkata is gearing up for the Trinamool Congress’ annual Martyr’s Day (Sahid Divas) rally which will begin within a couple of hours.

Braving the rain, thousands of Trinamool supporters from across the State are heading towards the venue at Esplanade in central Kolkata on Saturday.

“Like every year, we are organising our annual #21JulyShahidDibas rally in Dharmatala. Our workers and supporters from across #Bengal and other States have come to the city. We welcome one and all. Dharmatala Chalo (Come to Esplanade),” Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee tweeted.

The ruling party observes July 21 every years as ‘Shahid Dibas’ or Martyr’s Day to pay homage to the youth Congress workers who were killed in police firing on July 21, 1993.

As Trinamool workers’ pour into the roads, police has decided to regulate traffic in several key streets such Central Avenue, Strand Road, S.N. Banerjee Road and Red Road. Rows of buses are parked on the roads near Central Kolkata.

On the eastern fringes of the city, key arterial roads, such as the E.M. bypass — connecting eastern part of the city to the south — Trinamool supporters were seen heading for the venue in packed buses, shouting slogans.

Thousands of Trinamool workers have been camping for the last two days at the Milan Mela ground. The city is dotted with large cutouts of the Chief Minister and Trinamool flags.

However, daily commuters are facing severe inconveniences as most buses have been hired by the Trinamool to bring party workers to Kolkata.

At several places in the city, commuters were seen struggling to get into packed compartments of metro rails.

In places such as Central Avenue in Central Kolkata, officegoers are walking to their destinations as traffic had been temporarily stopped by police due to large procession of Trinamool workers heading to the venue.

Sealdah and Howrah rail stations are also packed with Trinamool supporters arriving from districts such as Madia, South and North 24 Paraganas, Howrah, Purba and Pasdchim Bardhaman.

“We are expecting that the gathering at today’s Martyr’s Day rally will break all records,” Trinamool general secretary Partha Chatterjee said.

At the venue of the rally, the crowd has started to swell. Senior Trinamool leaders such as Partha Chatterjee have already reached the venue to make last minute arrangements.

Elaborate security arrangements have been made for the rally. “About 6,000 police personnel will be deployed on July 21 for the rally,” Supratim Sarkar, Joint Commissioner of Kolkata Police (Headquarters) said.

Several Opposition party leaders are expected to join Trinamool at the rally. Expelled Communist Party of India (Marxist) MP Ritabrata Banerjee and senior CPI(M) leader and former MP from Murshidabad Moinul Hassan are expected to join Trinamool along with former BJP MP Chandan Mitra.

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Printable version | Jul 27, 2021 11:19:14 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kolkata/kolkata-gears-up-for-trinamools-martyrs-day-rally/article24480627.ece

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