West Bengal bandh: TMC says BJP fuelling unrest after saffron party’s shutdown call over Islampur student deaths

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New Delhi | Published: September 24, 2018 11:55 AM

The BJP's call for a bandh comes days after the death of two students in a clash with police in Islampur in the state's North Dinajpur district.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee (File photo: IE)

The ruling Trinamool Congress led by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has said that the statewide bandh called by the BJP in West Bengal on Wednesday is an attempt by the saffron party to create unrest in the state. The TMC has said that the bandh will be thwarted. The BJP’s call for a bandh comes days after the death of two students in a clash with police in Islampur in the state’s North Dinajpur district.

Accusing the BJP of trying to create disruption in the state, the TMC said that the BJP was attempting to turn the incident into a political issue. The ruling party plans to hold protest meetings and rallies to counter the saffron party’s bandh. State Minister Partha Chatterjee said that transport services will be maintained and offices and schools and colleges will remain open on Wednesday.

The BJP and the locals have alleged that the two students were killed in the police firing and demanded a CBI probe. The police have denied that the force resorted to open firing, however, the SP admitted that the students received bullet injuries and they are investigating who had opened fire.

Moreover, the state BJP chief Dilip Ghosh demanded a CBI probe into the Islampur incident. The BJP has called a 12-hour West Bengal bandh on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the CPM has also accused the TMC of politicising the situation and said the police cannot wash its hands off the matter. After meeting the victims’ families, Jadavpur CPM MLA Sujan Chakraborty said on Saturday that the TMC is simply trying to politicise the matter by blaming the RSS-BJP combine.

Reacting to the bandh call, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee blamed RSS-BJP for the incident and said that there will be no bandh and she would ask officials to ensure there is no shutdown in the state. Banerjee also came out in support of appointing Urdu teachers in the school.

Trouble began in Islampur school over the recruitment of Urdu teachers as the protesting students said they needed science and English teachers instead. Reportedly, the students and the locals stopped two newly recruited teachers, including one for Urdu, from entering the school on Thursday, demanding that all vacant teaching posts be filled, an issue that subsequently resulted in the clash.

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