Bandh called off paralysing life for 10 hours

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Kolkata, Apr 21(UNI) The dawn-to-dusk West Bengal shutdown, sponsored by the opposition Trinamool Congress and SUCI, today passed off by and large peacefully after crippling life for ten hours.

Inspector General of Police(Law and Order) Raj Kanojia said no major untoward incident had been reported from anywhere in the state. However, altogether 460 bandh supporters had been arrested on various charges.

Called by the opposition Trinamool Congress and SUCI in protest against the spiralling prices of essential commodities, the bandh was called off two hours before the schedule because of the large number of marriage ceremonies to be held during the day.

Congratulating the people for their 'spontaneous response', Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee warned that more such bandhs would follow in near future if prices of essential commodities were not brought down.

" The people have registered their protest against the failure of the UPA Government at the Centre and the ruling Left Front in West Bengal in curtailing the prices. There will be more bandhs if the price rise is not contained," she said.

SUCI state Secretary Provas Ghosh said his party would organise a sustained movement against price hike after the Panchayat election in the state.

CITU state President Shyamal Chakraborty, however, claimed that the bandh was not politically successful since most of the shop keepers kept their shutters down and bus operators shied away from the road out of fear.

" But tea gardens, industrial units functioned as usual while attendance was near normal in government offices," he said.

Meanwhile, Forward Bloc Coochbehar district secretary Udayan Guha termed the bandh in the district a ''total success'' and said the people had supported the bandh fully.

The Forward Bloc is a constituent of the CPI(M)-led Left Front government in the state.

The work at the Tata Motors small car project in Singur was also affected as the workers' attendance was very poor. Work at the Hooghly industrial belt, including the Srerampore, Chandannagar and Chapdani areas was also affected.

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