Many private buses stopped plying and shops and markets remained closed in several areas in response to a 12-hour bandh called by the BJP.
The BJP called for the bandh in districts of Northern West Bengal on Friday in eight districts in the northern part of the state in protest against what they called “torture” on the tribals and the death of a party activist in alleged police firing.
The immediate trigger for the shutdown is the death of a BJP worker Mrityunjay Burman in Radhikapur near Kaliaganj in North Dinajpur district. BJP has alleged that Mrityunjay died in police firing on Wednesday night. It may be mentioned that Kaliaganj in North Dinajpur district has been on the boil following the alleged criminal assault and subsequent murder of a teenage girl whose body was found in a canal last week.
The bandh that started at 6 AM saw BJP workers hitting the streets at important intersections and stopping vehicles. They also brought out processions in support of the shutdown. In Cooch Behar district, though government-run buses plied, private buses kept off the roads in the morning hours.
BJP-led bandh disrupts services in North Bengal; several party workers detained.
BJP’s Bengal bandh: Kaliaganj girl’s death in mysterious circumstances stirred outrage in the region. BJP called it a failure of law and order of the Mamata Banjerjee-led government in the state.
In Jalpaiguri district, most shops remained closed. At Kadamtala, bandh supporters forcibly stopped state-run buses. Reports of disruptions have also been received from the other districts in the region.
The north Bengal region comprises Cooch Behar, Jalpaiguri, Alipurduar, Darjeeling, Kalimpong, North Dinajpur, South Dinajpur, and Malda districts.
On Thursday, while announcing the shutdown, state BJP president Sukanta Majumdar accused the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress Government of letting loose an atmosphere of terror and misrule.