The 12-hour bandh called by the BJP to protest the "atrocities on tribal community" in the backdrop of a minor girl's death in Kaliaganj last week partially affected normal life in most parts of Uttar Dinajpur and six other districts of north Bengal on Friday.
Protesters damaged two NBSTC-operated buses in Cooch Behar district while BJP activists put up road blockades in different places of northern parts of the state hampering normal life there despite heavy deployment of police forces.
People in Siliguri, Jalpaiguri, Raiganj, Kaliaganj, Tufanganj, Balarampur, Cooch Behar city preferred remaining indoors as marketplaces, shops were closed because of the 12-hour strike that started at 6 am on Friday.
"The situation is peaceful and under control. Life is absolutely normal. We will not allow anyone to disrupt normal activities of the common people. We will take strong action against people who will make any attempt to disturb the peace," a senior police officer of Bengal police said.
So far, 11 persons have been detained from different parts of the eight districts of north Bengal.
In Tufanganj's Chowpati area, police had to intervene when Trinamool Congress activists tried to stop a BJP rally. A similar situation was witnessed at Chakirbazar in Cooch Behar where TMC and BJP workers got involved in a scuffle.
The bandh, however, did not have much impact on normal life in Darjeeling and Malda districts where shops, markets opened normally, though BJP workers were seen protesting outside government offices demanding immediate "stoppage of work" there.
Trinamool Congress activists also organised rival rallies against the bandh and urged people to continue normal life.
Alleging that he and his party colleagues were attacked by Trinamool Congress workers at Ghughumari in Cooch Behar district, BJP mandal president Anant De Sarkar alleged, "We have called a bandh to protest against what has happened in Kaliaganj for the last few days. I was holding a peaceful programme in support of the bandh. All of a sudden we were attacked by TMC workers. Police remained a mute spectator." Movement of students, health and emergency services were kept out of the ambit of the shutdown.
Authorities on Thursday imposed Prohibitory Orders under Section 144 of CrPC and suspended internet services in Kaliaganj town in Uttar Dinajpur district, which has been rocked by violence since last week over a 17-year-old girl's death.
A demonstration over the girl's death had turned violent on Tuesday as a mob set the Kaliaganj police station on fire, and thrashed on-duty police personnel. The protestors claimed she was raped and murdered, though a preliminary post-mortem examination report did not indicate rape.
A civic volunteer who was critically injured in Tuesday’s violence, succumbed while undergoing treatment at the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital in Siliguri on Thursday.
Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.