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Road blockade against Bhaktinagar shift

Jalpaiguri, Aug. 10: The Jalpaiguri Youth Congress today held an hour-long road blockade to protest the inclusion of Bhaktinagar police station.

Around 60 Youth Congress members started blocking NH31D near the bridge over the Teesta, 3km from here, at 11am.

The blockade caused a kilometre-long traffic jams. The agitators only allowed ambulances and vehicles carrying patients to pass.

The Youth Congress declared that it would also support a 12-hour bandh called by the Jalpaiguri Unnayan Mancha in the district on Monday to protest the state’s decision to bring Bhaktinagar police station under the Siliguri commissionerate.

Saikat Chatterjee, the district president of the Youth Congress, said the outfit was opposed to the fragmentation of the Jalpaiguri district and not the formation of the Siliguri commissionerate.

“Some years ago, 14 wards were added to Siliguri Municipal Corporation from the Dabgram-Fulbari area of the district. Recently, the state government has also initiated the process of further dividing Jalpaiguri by creating a separate district of Alipurduar. Now, Bhaktinagar police station has been included in the Siliguri commissionerate. Little by little, the geography of the district is being changed and Jalpaiguri will soon become an insignificant speck on the map,” Chatterjee said.

He alleged that north Bengal development minister gautam Deb was conspiring to create a separate district of Siliguri. “Deb has been silently conspiring to create a separate district of Siliguri by doing all this,” the Youth Congress leader said.

Chatterjee has filed a petition against the Bhaktinagar police station’s inclusion in Calcutta High Court.

Justice Dipankar Dutta has asked the state government to reply to the petition in four weeks.

The joint president of the Jalpaiguri Youth Congress, Tapan Bhattacharya, claimed that Monday’s bandh would be supported by all sections of the society.

Deb said the new coalition state government was trying its best to take up development projects despite being financially constrained. “The movement by the Youth Congress is going against the interests of the coalition government. The allegation that Siliguri will be made into separate district is absolutely baseless.”