The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Congress bandh hits Purulia

Purulia, March 28: A 12-hour bandh called by the district Congress affected life in Purulia today.

Buses were off the roads, shops were closed and attendance at government offices and banks was less than usual. No incidents of violence were reported, though 60 bandh supporters were arrested during the day in various regions.

The disruption did not, however, prevent district forest personnel from rescuing a four-foot long pangolin that had strayed into a village in the Kashipur area this morning. The animal was brought to the Raghabpur forest department complex in Purulia this afternoon and was out of danger.

The bandh was called by the Congress to draw public attention to and protest against several government policies and anomalies in services.

Three main reasons were the “irrational” imposition of tax on agricultural land, including interest on arrears, inadequacies in the BPL list drawn up by the panchayats and being finalised by the district administration, and the lack of a master plan for a proper irrigation system in the water-scarce district.

“We had submitted a memorandum to the BDOs in all the 20 blocks in the district as well as the three municipal chairmen,” said Rathindranath Mahato, district Congress general secretary. “But when there was no response, we decided on a bandh.”

The call received a good response, claimed Nepal Mahato, legislator and district Congress president.

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