Protest against lathicharge: SFI members gift roses to police personnel

Protest against lathicharge, SFI members gift roses to police personnel

Members of the CPM-backed SFI gifted roses to at least 20 police personnel in Burdwan town on Friday while observing a 12-hour strike called to protest police lathicharge on supporters of Left student and youth organisations during their march to Nabanna in Calcutta on Thursday.

“We thanked them with roses for hitting us with batons and firing tear gas shells at youths who were marching to Nabanna to demand jobs. We told the cops that their batons had boosted our morale for a bigger fight,” said Anirban Roy Chowdhury, the SFI district committee secretary in East Burdwan.

Members of the SFI, along with other senior CPM leaders, started picketing on GT Road in front of Curzon Gate in Burdwan after they took out a rally in the town and requested shopkeepers to close down their outlets in support of the strike. When police came to lift the blockade, the protesters offered the cops roses “in recognition of their act of beating students and youths in Calcutta on Thursday”.


In West Burdwan’s Durgapur, a group of CPM leaders went a step ahead when they offered police personnel Trinamul flags along with chocolate for “beating protesters”. The police, however, refused to accept the flags of the ruling party.

“We offered Trinamul flags to the cops and asked them to work for the ruling party. Their brutal act in Calcutta on Thursday was no different from what Trinamul workers usually do,” said Pankaj Roy Sarkar, a CPM district secretariat member in West Burdwan.

Apart from East Burdwan and West Burdwan, Left Front leaders ,along with members of the students and youth organisations, blocked state and national highways across south Bengal. However, the strike had a partial impact at most places.

However, in districts of Birbhum, Purulia and Bankura, private buses did not ply because of the bandh.

In north Bengal, the strike had minimal effect as it only led to the closure of marketplaces, some private establishments and banks. A section of private transport went off the roads but otherwise, normal life remained largely unaffected. The strike did not have any impact in tea estates and in the Darjeeling  hills.

The schools, which reopened on Friday after almost 10 months, remained open. No major violence has been reported from across the region.

Drama unfolded at the Siliguri’s Girls’ High School as a group of strikers entered the premises, shouting slogans. This made the headmistress of the school Atuhya Bagchi step out of her room and admonish the strikers for shouting slogans on the school premise.

The demonstrators fumbled and tried to pacify her by saying that they had come to the school to urge students so that they support the strike. Bagchi, however, asked them to leave the premises, which they did.

“This is not a place for sloganeering. The girls are back to school after several weeks and now these people want us to close down the institution for the day. The manner in which they entered the school shouting slogans is not expected from a students’ organisation. That is why I asked them to leave the school,” Bagchi said.

Members of the CPM-backed SFI gifted roses to at least 20 police personnel in Burdwan town on Friday while observing a 12-hour strike called to protes

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