Normal life was partially disrupted on Thursday by a dawn to dusk shutdown called by left opposition party Socialist Unity Centre of India,with bandh supporters clashing with police and blocking road and rail traffic at some places.
Though government buses were on the roads,private buses starting from adjoining districts,particularly South 24 Parganas where the SUCI has a presence,were very few,but taxis and minibuses ran as usual,police said.
Railway sources said train services in Eastern Railways Sealdah division,especially on the Sealdah South section and partially in Howrah division were disrupted as bandh supporters threw banana leaves on overhead wires.
There were obstructions by bandh supporters at some stations since early morning,the sources said.
In the metropolis,bandh supporters were involved in a scuffle with the police at Hazra in south Kolkata and Shyambazar in north Kolkata before courting arrest,police said.
SUCI leader Swapan Ghosh claimed the police baton-charged supporters in Habra in North 24 Parganas,Farakka in Murshidabad and at the Bankura district headquarters town while they were picketing in support of the shutdown.
Ghosh said there were clashes between supporters and those opposed to the bandh and the police at Toofanganj in Cooch Behar.
Inspector General of Police (Law and Order) Raj Kanojia said the bandh evoked ‘limited response’ in the districts. Kanojia said 40 bandh supporters were arrested for blocking road and rail services in the districts.
Joint Commisioner of Kolkata Police Pradip Chatterjee said life was almost normal in the metropolis,though buses were few in certain areas.
Altogether 13 bandh supporters were arrested in the city,he said.
Shops and markets were open,though some schools have declared a holiday apprehending trouble.
Maoists have called a separate shutdown in Bankura,Purulia and Birbhum districts,the police said.
The SUCI has called the bandh on an 18-point charter of demands,including reduction of transport fares following drop in international oil prices.