The bandh will begin at 6 am and essential services would be exempted from its purview, Adivasi Vikas Morcha state president Birsa Tirkey said today. The protest would be peaceful, he said. The bandh has been called by the Morcha and at least 15 other adivasi organisations of north Bengal.
West Bengal had witnessed protests by tribal bodies yesterday also against the Assam bloodbath. The Bharat Jakat Majhi Pargana Mahal blockaded a key highway at Silda in West Midnapore district for about five hours. In Malda district, tribals blocked the railway tracks at Eklakhi station in the Malda-Katihar division for six hours hitting train services to and from Assam.
The national highway linking Siiguri was also blocked by adivasi demonstrators on Wednesday night. Meanwhile, at least 500 affected people, including children and infants from Assam - both adivasis and Bodos have entered Kumargram, Barovisa, Changmari, Bitiibari, Balapara and Jashodanga areas in neighbouring Alipurduar district of West Bengal.
"More people are streaming in from Assam," District Additional Superintendent of Police Akash Megharia told PTI. While, many of them are staying with their relatives, the Bengal government has put some of them at various schools in the area and at a community hall at Changmari, he said. Cooked food, water and blankets are being provided to them, he added. Attacks by NDFB(S) and retaliatory violence by adivasis along with an incident of police firing has claimed 78 lives in Assam so far.