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Protest cripples traffic

A group of only around 25 SUCI activists choked traffic across central and parts of north Calcutta on Tuesday afternoon, protesting the Barasat rape and murder.

The disruption started when the supporters squatted at the JL Nehru Road-Lenin Sarani crossing around 2pm.

The blockade lasted 15 minutes but was enough to choke traffic along Old Court House Street, Esplanade East, JL Nehru Road, SN Banerjee Road, CR Avenue, Bentinck Street and parts of Brabourne Road.

The blockade was lifted around 2.15pm but the protesters kept demonstrating outside Victoria House till 2.30pm, slowing traffic along CR Avenue and Bentinck Street.

“My taxi was stranded on Old Court House Street for 15 minutes. Before that I had to spend another 10 minutes at Dalhousie,” said Tanima Mondal, an employee of a CA firm.

The cops maintained a “go- slow” approach in arresting the violators, a tactic they have been following since the death of SFI activist Sudipto Gupta after a law violation programme in April. On Tuesday, the cops repeatedly asked the agitators to move away. When the group refused, nine women supporters were arrested. “The gathering was small and comprised mostly women. So we did not apply force,” said a cop.