About 50 per cent of the people of Kolkata could not resist a five-day weekend and that was perhaps what made Thursdays bandh partially successful.
While the bandh called by the SUCI had little impact in Kolkata,pockets of the partys strongolds were affected through the day. In places near the SUCI office on Lenin Sarani and SN Banerjee Road,small shops remained closed. The number of private buses and cars plying on the roads dwindled on Thursday,as most bus-owners feared their vehicles would be damaged if they disobey the bandh call.
I did not take out my taxi because there was a bandh. What if someone damages my vehicle? Who will pay for it? said Sanjay Singh,a taxi driver.
Government offices saw 50 per cent attendance in most places. At Writers Buildings government officials said about 55 per cent of the employees were present.
We also conducted a survey in 32 government offices in the BBD Bag area and saw that in all offices the attendance was about 50 per cent. There was no untoward incident, said Home Secretary Ardhendu Sen. The home secretarys office said there were 488 arrests all over the state.
The New Secretariat building also saw an attendance of about 60 per cent. Attendance was lukewarm at the Kolkata Police headquarters as well.
We have arrested 67 people in Kolkata out of which 31 are women, said Joint Commissioner (Adm) P K Chattopadhyay.
While flight operations remained normal,railway stations bore a partially empty look on Thursday.
Schools and colleges functioned normally though some private buses engaged by schools refused to ply. Private offices,however,saw full attendance and many IT offices had arranged for transportation.
SUCI general secretary Pravash Ghosh,however,said the bandh got phenomenal response from the people of Kolkata.
The bandh has been very successful. People spontaneously decided to support us. We did not use any force on anyone, he said. He said that 912 SUCI supporters were arrested.