Mixed response to BJP’s bandh call in north Bengal, transport services hit

The 12-hour bandh called by the BJP in north Bengal over the alleged rape and murder of a teenaged girl and subsequent shooting of a 32-year-old man allegedly by police personnel in Uttar Dinajpur district received a mixed response on Friday with many commercial establishments remaining closed.

Public transport was hit as buses and auto-rickshaws remained off road in many areas. In the Kaliaganj and Raiganj areas of Uttar Dinajpur, banks and markets remained shut. The maximum impact was seen in Kaliaganj which wore a deserted look during the bandh hours.

“In 10 years of my posting here, I have never seen the town this deserted. I don’t even get time to drink water on regular days. But today, hardly any patient came here since morning,” said a doctor in the emergency ward of Kaliyaganj State General Hospital.

Meanwhile, the BJP supporters entered into a scuffle with police, leading to the arrests of several party workers. In Cooch Behar town, the party workers took out multiple processions to enforce the bandh call.

When the procession reached the bus terminus of the North Bengal State Transport Corporation, the bandh supporters blocked government-run buses.

When the police tried to remove them, a scuffle ensued.

Nearly 30 persons were arrested from different places, sources said. Of these, 20 were arrested from Cooch Behar and ten from Raiganj .

The bandh supporters were also accused of pelting government buses with stones.

The windshield of a government bus plying from Cooch Behar to Alipurduar was broken when BJP supporters threw stones at it, it was alleged. The terrified passengers got down the bus, it is learnt.

Bus driver Shibu Sarkar said, “I was taking the bus from the bus terminus with several passengers inside. Suddenly a big stone hit the front windshield of the bus. Panicked passengers got off from the bus iimmediately.” The bandh supporters were also accused of vandalising a Dinhata-bound government bus in Cooch Behar’s Chakir Mor area.

The BJP workers were seen stopping vehicles, including trucks, at Hemtabad on the Raiganj-Kaliaganj route.

Debashree Chaudhari, BJP MP Raiganj, said, “The bandh was successful here. People of north Bengal are really angry and it was evident from the way they supported the bandh call. Everything was completely closed.”

Meanwhile, Siliguri had little or no impact of the bandh call as shops and offices remained open like usual.

At a public meeting in Jalpaiguri, TMC general secretary and MP Abhishek Banerjee said, “I heard that in some areas they (BJP supporters) vandalised vehicles and burnt tyres. What kind of culture is this? Should we support those who harass people and do politics? What about the daily wagers who earn a paltry Rs 200-250 a day? The BJP is calling bandh to demonstrate its organisational strength.”

“I feel that strict action should be taken against those vandalising public property. Their properties should be attached,” he further said.


  • Adam Gray

    Adam Gray is an experienced journalist with a passion for breaking news and delivering it to the masses. With over a decade of experience in the field, he has covered everything from local stories to national events, earning a reputation for his accuracy, reliability, and attention to detail. As a reporter, Adam is always on the lookout for the next big story, and his dedication to uncovering the truth has earned him the respect of his peers and readers alike. When he's not chasing down leads, Adam can be found poring over the latest headlines, always on the lookout for the next big scoop. Contact [email protected]

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