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Bangla bandh cut short by 'wedding season'
April 21, 2008 09:06 IST
Last Updated: April 21, 2008 18:23 IST
The 12-hour Bangla bandh called by the Trinamool Congress and the Socialist Unity Centre of India on Monday, to protest the price rice, hit normal life in West Bengal. But keeping the wedding season in mind, the bandh was shortened by two hours to end at 4 pm.
The roads were almost deserted in the metropolis with an occasional bus to be seen, while shops, markets, offices and educational institutions were closed.
The shutdown was peaceful, with 250 bandh supporters arrested for obstructing road and rail traffic, Inspector General of Police (Law and Order) Raj Kanojia said. He added that eight state buses were damaged by bandh supporters at E M Bypass.
Another state bus was damaged at Mahestala in South 24 Parganas with the driver injured by bandh supporters, the district police said.
Kanojia said most private buses remained off the roads, though a few ran in the morning, but passengers were few.
Transport Minister Subhas Chakraborty said he had instructed both government and private operators to run buses in the evening after the bandh was over.
Chakraborty, however, expressed concern over the rising prices of essential commodities.
Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee led a procession at Hazra crossing to protest the price rise and announced that the duration of the bandh was being shortened by two hours following requests by people, as it was the wedding season.
Railway sources said that train services in Howrah and Sealdah divisions were disrupted by bandh supporters. Some local trains, however, ran on the Howrah-Baruipur, Howrah-Konnnagar and Bandel-Naihati sections, the sources said.
The Howrah-Ranchi Satabdi Express was cancelled and the Howrah-Dhanbad Black Diamond Express, which left Howrah in the morning, was controlled at Bally station. Circular rail services were also hit by the bandh, but Metro railway maintained normal services.
Flights at the N S C Bose International Airport were normal with 16 aircraft taking off in the morning, airport sources said.
Attendance at the state secretariat was low. Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and some of his cabinet colleagues attended office.