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Congress-backed strike cripples life in Tripura
AGARTALA, MAY 23 (IANS):
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Published on 24 May. 2011 1:05 AM IST
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Most shops, offices and banks remained shut in Tripura Monday and rail traffic was affected by a 12-hour strike called by the Congress after its students’ wing NSUI and the Students Federation of India (SFI) of the ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) clashed.
Life was crippled as the main opposition party called for the dawn-to-dusk shutdown after members of the National Students Union of India clashed with SFI activists Saturday, injuring seven members of both organisations.
NSUI Tripura unit president Vicky Prasad was critically injured in the clash and shifted to a Kolkata hospital for better treatment.
“Over 1,000 supporters of the shutdown were arrested by police from different parts of Tripura for creating obstruction in normalcy. Two vehicles, including one of an additional district magistrate, were damaged by the Congress activists,” superintendent of police (police control) Tushar Das told reporters.
He said heavy security arrangements had been made across the state to foil any untoward incident.
“The striking Congress men even did not allow several top officials, including chief secretary S.K. Panda, to enter the civil secretariat, headquarters of the state administration,” another police official told reporters.
Most markets, shops and business establishments, government and semi-government offices, educational institutions, banks and financial institutions remained shut in the state. Roads were deserted and rail services between Tripura and the rest of the country were also affected.
However, air services on the Agartala-Kolkata and Agartala-Guwahati routes were normal, an Agartala airport official told IANS.
“The 12-hour shutdown largely remained peaceful. Except some stray incidents, no major untoward incident was reported from anywhere,” police spokesperson Das told IANS.
According to the police official, about 15 activists of the Congress and the CPI-M were injured at separate places.
Bus services between Tripura and Bangladesh and other northeastern states were hit.
“The India-Bangladesh trade was also badly hit as hundreds of trucks were stranded on the other sides of the Akhaurah checkpost near here due to the shutdown,” a customs official here said.
“The strike was total and successful with people expressing their anger against the misrule of the Left front government,” Congress spokesperson Tapas Dey said.
Saturday’s clash took place when SFI activists were collecting subscriptions for membership from students.

 
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