In spite of all the attempts of the state government to foil the 24-hour countrywide bandh called by 10 Left-backed trade unions, a large part of Bengal has been paralysed.
Public and private buses were seen plying in the morning but as the day progressed the number decreased as there were very few takers. Most of the streets wore a deserted look, but parks were filled with cricket and football enthusiasts. Almost all private schools remained closed.
Government offices, however, saw a considerable presence of employees following the circular issued yesterday that absent employees would lose salary and there would be a service break.
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There were reports of sporadic violence in some parts of Bengal.
Salt Lake: Rally taken out by bandh supporters were stopped by police and 23 were arrested.
Jadavpur: A clash between TMC and CPIM took place near 8B Bus stand. Police intervention was necessary to disperse the mob.
Taratala: CITU supporters took out a rally supporting bandh. Another, anti-bandh rally was taken out by TMC-backed union INTTUC. A noisy brawl between the two groups was reported.
Hazra: Police stopped a rally of Left-backed union members as they were heading towards the residence of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. After an altercation with the police, the rally was re-routed.
Ramgarh: At Raipur in Ramgarh area, a CPIM office had been vandalised allegedly by TMC supporters. CPIM leaders said that they were unable to garner public support for the bandh politically and alleged that TMC had resorted to violence. TMC, however refuted charges.
Lake Town: CPIM supporters blocked Jessore Road. A clash between bandh supporters and police was also reported.
Esplanade: The otherwise busy esplanade wore a deserted look since morning with majority of the shops preferred to keep shutters down.