Bharat Bandh impacts normal life, Bengal most affected, school bus attacked in Kolkata

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Kolkata: The West Bengal Commission for Protection of Child Rights has taken cognizance in the matter of an attack on a school bus in Barasat with school children on board allegedly by members of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), during the first day of the two days’ Bharat Bandh.

A press communiqué released by the WBCPCR mentioned that commission has issued a show-cause notice to Sujan Chakraborty and other office bearers of the CPI(M).

Earlier, few sporadic incidents of vandalism was also reported to have taken place in some parts of Bengal on Tuesday following the 48-hour-long nationwide general strike called by central trade unions protesting against the “anti-people” policies of Narendra Modi led NDA government in the center. Scuffles between police and the strike supporters were witnessed in some areas. At Jadavpur area in south Kolkata, CPI(M) leader and MP of Jadavpur Lok Sabha constituency Sujan Chakraborty along with several other strike supporters were detained by the police.

Stones were pelted at a school bus in Champadali area of Barasat in North 24 Parganas district. A government bus was also ransacked by strike supporters at Champadali. Protestors also vandalised a bus at Jamuria in Paschim Bardhaman district.

Protestors squatted on tracks in some places to stop trains and burnt tyres on the roads. Members of Students’ Federation of India staged agitation at the gates of Presidency University in Kolkata. In Siliguri, protesters organised a big procession. But the trading hub in the city was open, though roads had fewer vehicles compared to a normal working day.

There have been reports of clashes between TMC and CPM workers in Asansol during the first day of the ongoing 48-hour nationwide strike. Train services came to a halt at Madhyamgram, Hasnabad-Bongaon, Krishnagar, Duttapukur and Lakshmikantapur train line. At Sodepur, in North 24 Parganas district, protesters threw banana leaves on overhead wires to disrupt train movement.

The state government had earlier announced that state employees would be barred from availing casual leave or half day leave on Tuesday and Wednesday. No leave will also be allowed on the day preceding the two-day strike or following it, as per the government notification issued on Friday.

A circular for no adverse order was also issued by the Calcutta High Court that prevails over all the lower courts under it.

Joint Entrance Examination

The Joint Entrance examination has begun from Tuesday which coincides with the 48-hours-old strike. But the state government has made special arrangements for examinees. Special examination bus and other vehicles in large numbers were seen plying on the metropolis streets. The security has been tightened too. This year, 9.5 lakh students are appearing for the Joint Entrance main examination. Through this exam, one can take admission in a graduation course in engineering at IIT, NIT, CFTI, SFTI, etc. The exam which started on Tuesday will continue till January 12.

At least 391 people including 34 women were detained across Bengal during the bandh.

In Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan too, bandh was effective, however, no major violence was reported.

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