FB-sponsored "Bangla Bandh" pronounces a divide in Left unity

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Kolkata, Feb 6 (UNI) Pronouncing a divide in Left unity, the Forward Bloc-sponsored ''Bangla Bandh'' passed off today after disrupting life in the state.

Life was severely affected as bandh supporters put up blockades to stop trains and vehicles, while police used lathi to disperse violent mob and political activists.

Inspector General of Police (Law and Order) Raj Kanojia told UNI that about 1,500 people had been arrested throughout the state on various charges.

The arrested included Forward Bloc MP Hiten Burman and Legislator Niranjan Pandit, who led party supporters in putting up blockades on railway tracks and roads.

Describing the bandh as ''total and spontaneous'', Forward Bloc state Secretary Ashok Ghosh said it reflected the people's anger against yesterday's police firing on party supporters at Dinhata in Cooch Behar district.

Altogether five Forward Bloc supporters were shot dead, while a National Volunteer Force(NVF) member succumbed to his injuries during a law violation programme.

Describing yesterday's incident as 'another Nandigram', Mr Ghosh warned the Front Government against running the administration with the help of police.

'' Dinhata is another Nandigram. I warn the Government against creating another. This must not be the way for the Government to remain in power with all the hatred and anger of the people, '' he said.

Mr Ghosh questioned how police could shoot to kill the workers of a party belonging to the ruling coalition.

Describing yesterday's firing as 'pre-planned', Mr Ghosh said it was opened by CRPF jawans, who were not supposed to be posted there.

However, claiming that the bandh had failed to evoke any spontaneous response, the CPI(M) alleged in a statement that 'reactionary' forces were trying to shatter the democratic atmosphere in the state.

The party alleged that the bandh protagonists had damaged several buses, prevented people from attending offices and tried to disrupt peace in some pockets.

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