Traffic in central Calcutta came to a standstill on Tuesday afternoon as several political parties took to the streets to protest the US invasion of Iraq.
Deputy commissioner of police (headquarters) K.L. Tamta said vehicles stood fender-to-fender on Lenin Sarani, SN Banerjee Road, Shakespeare Sarani, Mayo Road, Chowringhee, Park Street and Red Road for a couple of hours from 1.30 pm as the protestors took over.
Around 300 Congress activists gathered on Rani Rashmoni Road and marched along JL Nehru Road, shouting anti-war slogans. They burnt effigies of US President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair in front the American Center, police said. Once the Congressmen left, 56 Suci supporters held a half-hour demonstration against the war.
Alongside the political protests, West Bengal United Fishermen’s Union members rallied at Esplanade with demands relating to their livelihood.
Mayor Subrata Mukherjee and his followers held a meeting on Rani Rashmoni Road in the afternoon on trade union issues. Trinamul Congress leader Mamata Banerjee, too, addressed a gathering on Mayo Road.
According to Lalbazar traffic control room, three senior secretaries of the state government, with offices in Salt Lake, were stuck in the snarl while on their way to Writers’ Buildings. “They called up the traffic control room, wanting to know if there was a way out of the congestion,’’ a senior officer said.