Kolkata, May 21 (IANS) Train services in the Sealdah-Naihati division of Eastern Railway (ER) were disrupted for about three hours ( 8.43 a.m. to 12:04 p.m.) on Tuesday as residents squatted on tracks near Kankinara station, protesting against clashes in the North 24 Parganas district, an official said.
Residents of the Bhatpara Assembly constituency were staging protest against violent political clashes during the by-election on Sunday.
Due to protests 17 electric multiple unit (EMU) trains were stopped. It included 13104 Bhagirathi Express, 12384 Asansol-Sealdah Intercity Express and 15048 Poorvanchal Express. ER authorities had to cancel seven pairs of EMU locals and terminate seven others before their destinations.
A large contingent of RPF, GRP and West Bengal Police had been deployed at the site to ensure safety and security of passengers and to help resume services, the ER said in an official statement.
The by-election was caused by Trinamool MLA Arjun Singh’s defection to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) two months ago.
Blaming Singh and other BJP activists for the disruption, State Food Minister and Trinamool North 24 Parganas district President Jyotipriyo Mullick told IANS, “Singh and his men are creating trouble. They are setting shops and houses on fire, disrupting trains and harassing the public.”
“The paramilitary forces, deployed during the elections, are also supporting them. We have met the District Magistrate and sought their arrest within 24 hours,” Mullick said.