Sunday, November 18, 2007

Traffic comes to a standstill for the fourth day

Statesman News Service
KOLKATA, Nov. 17: Traffic in central parts of Kolkata came to a standstill for a few hours this afternoon with the CPI-M organising a rally in Rani Rashmoni Square to protest against the “forces trying to create anarchy in Nandigram”.
To add to the chaos, a forum of scientists and academics ~ Teachers And Scientists Against Maldevelopment (TASAM) also staged a sit-in-demonstration at the same time opposite Metro Cinema Hall to protest against the state-sponsored violence in Nandigram.
This was the fourth consecutive day that traffic was disrupted for several hours in the city with people protesting against the violence in Nandigram. While the anti-Left people representing all walks of life brought out a rally on Wednesday, the city had to face the brunt of a procession brought out by the Leftist intellectuals, artistes, film and theatre personalities and students on Thursday.
On Friday it was a four-hour shut down called by the Pashimbanga Milli Ittehad Parishad ~ a joint forum of 12 Islamic committees, as well as Chat puja processions, which threw traffic in the city out of gear.
Today's rally by the ruling party, mainly targeted against yesterday's judgement of the High Court, was attended by heavyweight leaders of the party including Mr Biman Bose, Mr Binoy Konar, Mr Asim Dasgupta and Mr Subhash Chakraborty. Thousands of party cadres from adjoining districts poured into the city on trucks, matadors and other hired vehicles. Nearly 3,000 DYFI supporters marched along SN Banerjee road to take part in the rally, throwing traffic out of gear.
A senior police officer said traffic was mostly affected in central Kolkata. Traffic came to a standstill on JL Nehru road, Brabourne road, SN Banerjee road among others. Dorina Crossing and Moulali had to be closed for nearly an hour. North-bound traffic was diverted via Mayo road to keep the situation under control. With central Kolkata being blocked, traffic in other parts of the city also had to bear the brunt. The pace slowed down considerably and traffic jams were also reported from several parts. Meanwhile, the sit-in-demonstration by the forum of teachers and scientists also drew a crowd and added to the woes. A section of the city’s anti-Left intelligentsia, including Maheshweta Devi, Sunanda Sanyal, Debabrata Banerjee, Bibhutibhusan Nandi and RSP leader Mr Manoj Bhattacharjee, also took part in the demonstration.