Traffic movement in central Calcutta was severely disrupted on Saturday after several women’s organisations took to the streets to observe International Women’s Day.
Various political and non-political associations held a string of rallies causing bottlenecks on major thoroughfares. However, there were no reports of any untoward incidents.
At least 5,000 women under the Left Front banner assembled on Rani Rashmoni Road to mark the occasion.
Processions started trooping in through SN Banerjee Road, JL Nehru Road and Mayo Road from around 1 pm. The meeting got over around 4 pm, resulting in a major traffic snarl on various routes to Esplanade.
Around five non-government organisations took out a procession from College Square to Sealdah station at 11.30 am. With around 400 members, the rally clogged Mahatma Gandhi Road for over an hour.
Raja Subodh Mullick Square was the venue for SUCI activists who started assembling around 2 pm. The party garnered around 500 supporters.
A large contingent of policemen was deployed at Esplanade as the SUCI had plans to stage a demonstration at the JL Nehru Road-Lenin Sarani intersection. Later, policemen dispersed the crowd.
A group of 100 women belonging to the Trinamul Congress gathered in front of the Gandhi statue on Mayo Road around noon.
Mayor Subrata Mukherjee and member, mayor-in-council, conservancy, Mala Roy were also present.
Traffic ground to a halt on Ganesh Chandra Avenue for more than an hour in the afternoon after a group of BJP supporters staged a meeting on the road to observe Women’s Day.
According to an official of the Lalbazar control room, the BJP supporters did not have permission to hold the meeting on Ganesh Chandra Avenue. Around 50 women of CPI(ML), too, held a meeting in front of Esplanade Metro in the afternoon.