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Clash with Congress: Left calls for 12-hour Bengal bandh tomorrow

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Kolkata, Feb 11: Left Front Chairman Biman Bose on Thursday announced a 12- hour West Bengal bandh by the Left and associate parties from 6 AM on Friday in protest against the clash that happened with Congress party workers during a rally to Nabanna in Kolkata as they tried to break barricades on their way to state secretariat.

Clash with Congress: Left calls for 12-hour Bengal bandh tomorrow

"Left calls for 12-hour bandh in West Bengal on Friday from 6 AM to 6 PM to protest over today's incident wherein left party members were beaten up and water cannons were used against them by police during march to Nabanna in Kolkata," Biman Bose said in a statement slamming Congress with which it has formed an electoral alliance for the coming assembly elections in the state.

"The way police unleashed atrocities on the participants in the march to Nabanna, it created a situation somewhat akin to the historic Jallianwala Bagh incident," Bose further said.

The Left Front chairman claimed that more than 150 students and young men and women were injured in the police action while participating in the 'Nabanna abhiyan' programme of the student and youth wings of the Left and Congress demanding jobs and better education facilities.

The march to Nabanna started at College Street but was stopped by the police on SN Banerjee Road in the Esplanade area. As the activists tried to head further by breaking the heavy metal barricades, police used water cannons.

Amid slogans against the Mamata Banerjee government, the Left-wing youths and students tried to climb up the barricades, following which police began a baton-charge and also fired tear-gas shells.

Some police officials were also reported to be injured in the clashes. CPI(M) politburo member Mohammad Salim alleged that the Mamata Banerjee government is totally dependent on the police force to suppress protests and demands by the people.

"Why is she afraid of receiving a memorandum from jobless youths," he asked in a press conference at the CPI(M) headquarters here after the incident. Condemning the attacks on the agitators, Congress Rajya Sabha MP Pradip Bhattacharya said that the Trinamool Congress government has lost the people's faith and violent suppression of protests is an indication of that.

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