West Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress on Saturday organised a candle march led by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee here to protest against the terror attack on a paramilitary convoy in Jammu and Kashmir that killed 49 troopers while the opposition Left Front and the BJP also hit the streets.
During the Trinamool’s 5-km-long candle light procession starting from Hazra Park in the southern part of the metropolis to the Mahatma Gandhi statue at Mayo Road in central Kolkata, Banerjee and others walked silently carrying candles.
Holding a large banner with a remark “we salute our jawans”, party activists, leaders, MLAs, MPs, and city Mayor Firhad Hakim also participated in the procession. As the march progressed, more and more people carrying festoons and placards joined in the rally and walked silently.
“We have come here to express our solidarity with the jawans,” Banerjee said after completing the march.
They observed one minute silence in memory of the brave martyrs and Rabindra Sangeet – ‘a guner poroshmoni’- was sung.
The suicide attack on a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) convoy carrying troopers towards Srinagar had blown up a bus when an explosive-packed SUV rammed into it, causing the death of some 40 troopers at the spot on Thursday. Nine injured succumbed subsequently.
The Left parties also took out a rally holding posters, placards and festoons condemning the attack on jawans but their procession was stopped twice because of Banerjee-led Trinamool rally.
On request of police, Left Front Chairman Biman Bose and CPI-M State Committee Secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra agreed to follow an alternate route from Lenin Statue to Shahid Bhagat Singh’s statue at Minto Park, deviating from the original route from Lenin Statue to Hazra.
“Central government should adopt a pragmatic approach and find out a solution to this problem through dialogue. War-mongering will do no good. Security arrangements for the jawans should be improved,” Bose said before reaching the statue of Shahid Bhagat Singh.
The BJP also took out a rally in Dum Dum area to protest against the attack.