Rallies in Kolkata against court curbs

KOLKATA OCT. 10. Two left groups took out processions here today in defiance of the Calcutta High Court judge, Justice Amitava Lala's order.

Naxalites and the Socialist Unity Centre of India (SUCI), both outside the ruling Left Front, took out rallies within a space of two hours in the central business district disrupting traffic.

There was, however, relatively less traffic today as many offices, banks, educational institutions and business establishments were closed in a residual effect of the string of puja holidays since September 30.

Neither the CPI(M-L) Liberation nor the SUCI took permission for the rallies even though police had been directed by the court to take action in the event of any non-compliance with the order restricting rallies on weekdays.

Police said they had arrested a few SUCI supporters for disrupting traffic but no action was taken against the naxalites who marched from the Subodh Mullick Square to Rani Rashmoni Road and came back to the point of commencement through Lenin Sarani.

SUCI claimed that at least five party supporters were injured as police resorted to a lathicharge to disperse the processionists. Police, however, denied the charge.

Both SUCI and the CPI(M-L) Liberation leaders later said that their parties would continue to protest against the court order restricting rallies on weekdays. The naxalites would organise a convention in the city on October 22 opposing the order.

SUCI also said that it would take out rallies in the coming days to protest against the transport fare hike in Bengal.

The CPI(M)-led Left Front will take out a string of rallies here from Monday to protest against Mr. Justice Lala's order.