The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Force slur on bandh flop

Dugapur, Sept. 5: The dawn-to-dusk bandh called by the Trinamul Congress to protest yesterday’s police firing which claimed three lives passed off peacefully today.

Police had opened fire when an agitated mob attacked them after three persons were run over by a speeding truck on National Highway 2.

The injured, Humayan Seikh (25) and Mir Hossain Khan (27), are battling for life at the subdivisional hospital.

The deputy inspector-general of police, headquarters, Narayan Ghosh, said that a magisterial inquiry would be conducted into the incident. Since yesterday, 46 people have been arrested in connection with the rioting.

The bandh today was peaceful, with shops and educational institutions, including schools and colleges, remaining closed.

Transport, however, was not affected. “GT Road was open. Even offices and factories in the area remained open,” the police official added.

Train services remained more or less normal as it was kept out of the bandh’s purview.

Local Trinamul leaders alleged that the firing could have been averted had the police party turned up on time and exercised restraint in dispersing the agitated mob.

The Congress and the SUCI backed the bandh, saying the people were justified in observing it.

Both Trinamul and CPM workers blamed each other for the failure of today’s bandh. While Biswanath Pandial, councillor of the civic body and secretary of the Burdwan Trinamul Yuva Congress alleged that CPM cadre had compelled shop owners to open their shops, CPM leaders denied the allegation.

“The people refused to accept the bandh as it was forced on them,” said T.. Sukul, CPM leader and councillor of the Durgapur Municipal Corporation.

A team of Trinamul leaders, headed by the leader of the Opposition in the Assembly, Pankaj Banerjee, will visit the area tomorrow. He will visit the house of Kanta Devi, whose husband and two children died in the mishap.

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