The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Netaji’s bloc in foundation day rally
- Left writers to meet indoors

A string of rallies, more chaos on the streets. Traffic, particularly in north Calcutta, is likely to be paralysed on Tuesday when the Forward Bloc organises a rally at the Shyambazar five-point crossing to observe the 60th foundation day of the Provisional Government of the Azad Hind.

The CPM-controlled Democratic Writers’ and Artists’ Association will hold a convention at the Bangla Akademi on Monday to protest Justice Amitava Lala’s restrict-rally ruling.

Forward Bloc state secretary Ashok Ghosh said on Sunday that people from different parts of the city and the districts will first assemble at Hedua, in north Calcutta. From there, they will march in a procession to the five-point crossing.

Speakers, including state Bloc general secretary and MP Debabrata Biswas will address the gathering from a makeshift podium there. Asked if the party has sought permission from the police to hold a rally at the five-point crossing, Ghosh replied in the negative. “We shall simply go there in a procession to place wreaths on the statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. For this, we don’t have to seek permission from the police,” he said, adding that the procession will not disrupt the flow of traffic.

Police said movement of traffic on College Street, Amherst Street, Vivekananda Road and some parts of central Calcutta will be affected by the Shyambazar five-point crossing rally.

Bloc sources indicated that chaos is inevitable after a large turnout at the five-point crossing. “Traffic in north Calcutta is bound to be paralysed, with people converging on the Hedua crossing from different directions,” said a party functionary.

However, wiser after six-month-old Shabana Parveen’s death after she was held up in a traffic jam near Canning Street last Monday because of a rally of the youth activists of the Left, the Democratic Writers’ and Artists’ Association, affiliated to the CPM, will organise a convention inside Bangla Akademi hall on Monday.

“Ours is an indoor programme and there will be no disruption of traffic. We have decided not to bring out any procession,” said association general secretary Indranath Bandopadhyay.

“Though we condemn the order virtually banning rallies from weekday, working-hour Calcutta, we have nothing against the judge. Ours is a fight to restore the democratic rights of the people to raise their voices against injustice,” he added.

To carry on the string of protests, the state Congress plans a rally soon after Kali puja against the government’s “dismal performance” in the health sector.

On its part, the Opposition Trinamul Congress has convened a workers’ committee meeting on Monday to work out its future course of agitation. On her return on Saturday night, Mamata Banerjee met party functionaries to discuss the strategy for a month-long agitation.

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