Anti-CAA protester turned violent on the streets of West Bengal for the third day straight as they cut down trees and burnt tyres to block the main national and state highways on Sunday. At one such place in 24 Parganas North district, protesters even started a ''picnic'' on the National Highway 34, after blocking the road. Similar protests also broke out in Murshidabad and Birbhum districts.
At Kamdevpur, the protesters first obstructed the highway and then started cutting and began to mince vegetables and cook on the road to start a picnic. The Kalyani Expressway was blocked at Ruia Bakultala crossing under Kahardah police station, while demonstrators set ablaze tyres to block the Berachapa-Pritima crossing under Deganga police station.
Protesters in Birbhum burnt tyres and blocked the Murarai-Raghunathganj state Highway at Hiyatnagar, barring the road at Mitrapur. They raised posters which read "No NRC, No CAA", and "Modi hatao, Desh bachao, BJP hatao, Desh Bachao" and set up road barriers on Jangipur-Lalgola state highway at Kantakhali under Raghunathganj police station.
West Bengal has witnessed increasing violence against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) since Friday and expanded to more places on Saturday. Angry mobs in various districts lit up buses, trains and railway stations, vandalised public property and obstructed roads and railway tracks, bringing the state to a halt.
The protests have put railway services in danger. The EMU local train services on Howrah-Kharagpur section of South Eastern Railway resumed on Saturday evening after remaining stranded for 10 hours. The Eastern Railway has cancelled nine express and four long-distance passenger trains which were scheduled to exercise on Sunday. The South Eastern Railway also cancelled one express along with some passenger trains for the day. Some long-distance passenger trains also faced the same action.
The Chief Minister had criticised the vandalism on Saturday and spoke tough against anyone who resorts to violence. "Once again I appeal to all not to resort to violence and disturb public order, tranquillity, and peace. It must be kept in mind that police stations, railway stations, airports, post offices, government offices, public transport, are public property. Vandalising public as well as private property in any form will not be tolerated and will strictly be dealt according to the law" said Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee while reiterating her stand on CAB and NRC.
(With inputs from ANI)