Daily lives were affected due to a 12-hour shutdown called by the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) in the northern West Bengal city of Siliguri on Thursday over the death of a schoolgirl.
The bandh had a severe impact in the Matigara area where the body of the girl was found on Monday evening, while it partially affected the other parts of the city.
Most shops and commercial establishments near the main roads of the city were closed. Private vehicles were significantly lesser in numbers on the roads, and taxis to Gangtok and Darjeeling did not operate, leaving tourists in the lurch. Private schools also remained shut in the city.
Protesting against the bandh, the ruling Trinamool Congress held a rally from Airview Mor to Hashmi Chowk.
TMC's Darjeeling district president Papiya Ghosh said her party will hold a candlelight vigil in the evening in memory of the victim.
"We are against this bandh as it is inconveniencing people," she said.
Siliguri Mayor Gautam Deb of the TMC said, "We are with the family of the victim, and will support them in every way possible." The body of the girl was found in a dilapidated house in Matigara area. Police said they have already arrested the accused, who tried to sexually assault her but as she resisted, he bludgeoned her to death.
The stone with which the girl was attacked was also recovered, they said.
The girl was a class 11 student of a Nepali-medium school in the city. She was returning home from school, when the accused intercepted her, police said.
Demanding capital punishment for the accused and protesting against the lathi charge on its demonstration by the police on Wednesday, the VHP called the 12-hour shutdown.
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