Purulia/West Midnapore, Apr 19: The Maoist-sponsored 12-hour bandh was total but generally peaceful today, except for Lalgarh block of West Midnapore, where trouble erupted over alleged falsification of panchayat election nomination papers.
The bandh, which was being called over the Maoists' demand for price hike in kendu leaves, mainly affected the three districts of West Midnapore, Purulia and Bankura.
West Midnapore BDO Chinmoy Mondol said CPI(M) activists brought to his notice the false signatures made in the nomination papers, reportedly submitted by a Jharkhand Party (Naren group) representative. Following this incident, the BDO cancelled the bond. West Midnapore DM N S Nigam said the bandh in the western part of the district, especially in Jhargram sub-division, was total. Other affected areas include Keshiary, Narayangar, Shakrail.
All shops, market areas and educational institutes in this area remained closed, while banks, hospitals and other essential and emergency services were kept out of the bandh's purview. Attendance in most government offcies was thin, espeically in Binpur, Lalgarh, Belpahari, Bashpahari and Kakrajhor, where life was paralysed due to the bandh.
The bandh was also total in Purulia and Bankura, where most public transport remained off the streets. Life was otherwise unaffected in most parts of the two districts, Bandwan, Barrabazar, Manbazar, Kotshila, Boro, Jhalda and Jaipur in Purulia and Raniganj, Mukutmanipur in Bankura.
The Maoists were demanding price hike in kendu leaves that are used for making matresses in the state. Police informed that tight security was being ensured, especially in those areas of the districts which share border with the neighbouring state of Jgarkhand.
Purulia SP Ashok Kumar Prasad said that no untoward incident had so far taken place, but his department is on high alert to avert any possible trouble in the area.