Scuffle, stray incidents of violence in Bengal during nationwide trade union strike

Activists of different parties block a railway track during a nationwide strike called by the various trade unions in Kolkata, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020.   | Photo Credit: AP

Stray incidents of violence and scuffle were reported on Thursday from several districts of West Bengal, including Kolkata, as the supporters of the Left parties and the Congress tried to enforce the nationwide strike called by several central trade unions. Normal life was partially affected as people largely stayed indoors despite the State government’s efforts to ensure plying of vehicles on streets and running of trains as per schedule.

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The State government announced that its employees would have to compulsorily attend work and absence would be considered break in service. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said she extends “moral support” to the issues relating to the strike as the Centre is trying to close all public sector undertakings.

Ms. Banerjee said she cannot support bandh as it has been her government’s stand since 2011.

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions, the All India United Trade Union Centre, the Trade Union Co-ordination Centre and the Self-Employed Women’s Association, the Indian National Trade Union Congress, the All India Trade Union Congress and the Hind Mazdoor Sabha participated in the nationwide strike protesting against the policies of the Centre.

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From early morning, the supporters of the Left parties along with the Congress took out several rallies in Kolkata and the districts. In Jadavpur and Manicktala area of the city, supporters of the Left parties squatted on the road to block vehicular movement. Bandh supporters tried to close the shutters of the Central metro station in Kolkata and in Habra in the North 24 Parganas. A railway employee at a ticket counter was injured in the process.

Reports of roads being blocked and burning of tyres had been reported. The Left leadership alleged that the police used force in certain places leaving several of its supporters injured.

At certain places, the supporters of the Left parties and the Trinamool Congress came face to face. There was a huge deployment of police to prevent any major flare-up.

Maimum response, says CPI(M)

Senior Left leaders like CPI(M) State secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra, Polit Bureau member Biman Bose and leader of the Left Legislature Party in the Assembly Sujan Chakraborty hit the streets in Kolkata.

Dr. Mishra said the bandh had evoked maximum response. “After Independence, this ​government at the Centre has unleashed an attack on all sections of people, including the SCs, the STs and the minorities. This attack on the working classes needs to be resisted with all force,” he said.

The Left parties were trying to keep the protests peaceful but Ms. Banerjee would be responsible for any violence. “So far, we have got information that more than 400 comrades have been arrested,” he said.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2021 4:26:05 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kolkata/scuffle-stray-incidents-of-violence-in-bengal-during-nationwide-trade-union-strike/article33183165.ece

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