The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Bandh’s Book Fair concession

With the SUCI determined to make its 24-hour strike call a success on Monday, the city is gearing up for its second bandh in a month. On January 10, the Party for Democratic Socialism (PDS) had observed a 12-hour bandh, backed by the Trinamul Congress.

Apart from essential services, marriage parties and the ongoing preparations for the Book Fair on the Maidan have been exempted from the purview of the bandh.

Despite the strike call, all international and domestic flights to and from Calcutta will operate as per schedule on Monday, officials at Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport said on Saturday. “The usual security drill will be carried out even if the bandh takes place,” a senior airport official added.

SUCI leaders, on Saturday, said they would put up blockades to stop people from joining duty on Monday.

“We are not scared of the CPM’s threat to deploy cadres to frustrate our move, as we are convinced of the people’s support to our call,” said Manik Mukherjee, an SUCI member.

According to Mukherjee, the bandh has been called to air people’s grievances against the withdrawal of cross-subsidy in electricity tariff, introduction of water tax in municipalities, hike in hospital charges and school fees and irregularities in the Below Poverty Line list.

The Left Front had earlier urged the SUCI to call off the bandh. But when its plea was turned down, the CPM had reportedly “threatened to frustrate” the move by deploying cadres, sources said.

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