1,600 Arrested During BJP-Called Bandh In West Bengal, BJP Blames TMC For Violence

| September 27 , 2018 , 09:02 IST

Scattered incidents of violence took place across West Bengal on Wednesday as the BJP called for a 12-hour state-wide bandh, and around 1,600 people were arrested, media said on Thursday. BJP state president Dilip Ghosh blamed activists of the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) party for the violence.

"We believe in peaceful agitations. The strike has been more or less peaceful. In most of the places TMC has indulged in violence and blamed us. The people of this state have completely supported the strike call. Thousands of our supporters have been arrested by the police," Ghosh claimed.

The BJP had called for the bandh in protest of the death of 2 students during protest with police on September 20. The 12-hour bandh was called off 2 hours ahead of schedule on Wednesday, as the BJP claimed the protest was a success due to 'people's support'.

ALSO READ: Security Boosted In West Bengal, As BJP Launches 12-Hour Bandh In Protest Of Student Deaths

Although the West Bengal government had ordered state offices to remain open and buses to ply the roads as usual and increased security, BJP workers clashed with TMC activists and police at several areas during the bandh.

While normal life was largely unaffected in Kolkata and adjoining districts, in North Dinajpur, where the September 20 clash took place, the effects of the  bandh were clearly visible. In central Kolkata, BJP supporters torched a state bus and stone pelting was reported from Shyambazar and Sealdah areas. Police reported clashes between supporters of TMC and BJP in West Midnapore, West Burdwan, South Dinajpur and North Dinajpur districts.

Another 2 state-run buses were set on fire in Islampur and stone pelting also took place, after which BJP workers held up traffic movement, resulting in the police resorting to baton charge and tear gas shells to disperse them.

ALSO READ: Best Alternative To Trinamool Congress In West Bengal Can Only Be AAP, Says Senior AAP Leader

ADGP (Law and Order) Anuj Sharma said that 1,600 people were arrested and that action would be taken against those found responsible for vandalising public properties under The West Bengal Maintenance of Public Order (Amendment) Act, 2017.

On September 20, a clash erupted between police and students after the students stopped 2 newly recruited teachers from entering Daribhit High School in Islampur as the students wanted teachers for English and Science subjects instead of the recruited Urdu and Sanskrit teachers. In the clash, 2 students Rajesh Sarkar and Tapas Barman, died. While the BJP alleged that they were killed in police firing, the police have denied the claims.