Lukewarm response to anti-demonetisation strike in Bengal

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Kolkata, Nov 28 (IANS) Train and flight movement were normal, most vehicles hit the streets, and it was business as usual in markets and shops as the 12-hour general strike called by 18 Left and other parties against demonetisation, evoked lukewarm response in West Bengal on Monday.

Schools and colleges remained open, though attendance was less than usual, while offices and business establishments functioned normally throughout the state.

In Kolkata, Metro services were normal, auto rickshaws and taxis were on the roads, and only a few private buses did not ply.

Train services of Eastern Railway and south Eastern Railway was normal. In Sealdah and Howrah, the two major railway stations of West Bengal, all the local and express trains ran with no major delays, railway sources said.

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All flights departed from and landed at the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport as per schedule.

The Barrackpore industrial zone in neighbouring North 24 Parganas district saw heavy attendance of workers in the jute mills and other industrial unit, notwithstanding the state-wide shutdown called to protest against the harassment faced by people following the Central government’s move.

The strike supporters put up a roadblock on Jessore Road, but police removed it after some time.

The Left leaders including CPI-M state secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra, and Left Front legislature party leader Sujan Chakraborty walked in a rally at along with the party workers near Esplanade. They accused the state government of showing muscle power and using police and administration against them to foil the strike.

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“Trinamool government is misusing its administrative power and police forces to break the strike. Several of our party leaders and supporters were wrongly held in spite of rallying peacefully,” Mishra said.

“The situation is normal.There is no shutdown.A No one has been arrested,” ADG (Law and Order) Anuj Sharma told IANS.

The Trinamool leaders, meanwhile, termed the strike a total failure.

“People of the state have shown their intent against the strike by coming out in numbers. The strike is a total failure,” said Trinamool Secretary General Partha Chatterjee.



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