State govt ready to thwart BJP-sponsored Bangla bandh: Partha

24 Sep 2018

West Bengal minister for education and Trinamool Congress secretary general Partha Chatterjee today accused BJP of trying to foment trouble in the state by calling a 12-hour shutdown on Wednesday and said all steps would  be taken to ensure normal life on the day. Apart from issuing notification for state government employees to attend office on the bandh day and running state-operated transport system, the government will ask commercial establishments, private educational institutions to function normally, the education minister said.
Chatterjee was speaking to reporters after attending a meeting of Group of Ministers here at the state secretariat.
As in previous bandhs, a circular has been issued to all employees to attend office not only on that day, September 26, but also on the previous and the next day. No casual leave will be allowed on the three days, the circular said.
Chatterjee also said Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was monitoring the developments in the state from Milan in Italy.
Transport Minister Suvendu Adhikary has been asked to coordinate with private bus operators to run their fleet normally on the bandh day, he said.
The transport minister has asked all bus operators to ply buses on the day of the proposed bandh and said that if any case of arson took place the government would pay compensation to the tune of a maximum amount of Rs 6 lakh.
The BJP has called a 12-hour Bengal bandh on Wednesday to protest the deaths of ITI student Rajesh Sarkar and third-year college student Tapas Barman at Daribhit village in Islampur of North Dinajpur district.
Chatterjee, who accused the BJP and Sangh Parivar organisations such as Bajrang Dal and RSS of using the language of threat and coercion to enforce the bandh, called upon the people to approach the administration, if they faced disturbances on the road.
"We will do whatever is needed to keep life normal," he asserted adding the government was bent on maintaining communal harmony and amity in the state.
To a question, Chatterjee said the BJP was resorting to the politics of bandh as they had lost bases and suffering from frustration.
"They are now resorting to the drama of either going to court or creating lawlessness to disrupt normal life, besides disturbing the holding of examinations in different institutions and formation of panchayat boards," he said.
To another question, Chatterjee said it needed to be probed as to who hurled bombs during the agitation over appointment of school teachers and who fired on the students in Islampur.
He said the government had already suspended the District Inspector of schools, North Dinajpur, following the incident at Islampur.
"I have also called the DIs to Bikash Bhavan Monday for discussion," he said.
Under instructions from chief minister Mamata Banerjee various TMC leaders and ministers today led rallies at different parts of Kolkata and the districts exhorting people to foil the bandh.
Meanwhile TMC MP Idris Ali today filed a PIL at Calcutta High Court requesting it to ban the proposed bandh on Wednesday saying that various law courts have already dubbed bandhs as `illegal'.
The case has been fixed for hearing tomorrow.