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In Photo: The civil society rally that hit the Kolkata streets on Friday. Photo courtesy: CPIM West Bengal on FB

Newsmen Bureau

Kolkata, 14 August: THE streets of Kolkata once more rose in protest on Friday as thousands of citizens took to the city streets to protest the alleged anarchy in Bengal under the Trinamool Congress rule.

This comes about two years after the citizens had hit the Kolkata streets protesting the gruesome gang rape and murder of a college girl at Kamduni village in North 24-Parganas district.

Today’s silent rally, that lacked a banner ~ political or otherwise ~ but had the backing of Left parties and the Congress, started from College Square around 4 pm. The rally traversed through Wellington Square, SN Baerjee Road, Dorina Crossing and converged at Rani Rashmoni Avenue where a brief public meeting was held.

Noted civil society members such as Supreme Court’s former justice Asok Kumar Ganguly, educationist Pabitra Sarkar, advocate Arunava Ghosh, painter Samir Aich, poet Mandakranta Sen, thespian Chandan Sen, actor Badsha Moitra, Jadavpur University professor Ambikesh Mahapatra who was arrested for a cartoon critical of Mamata Banerjee, West Midnapore farmer Shiladitya Choudhury who was arrested for questioning the hike in fertiliser price at a public meeting of Miss Banerjee and several others took part in the rally.

From the political front were present Bengal Assembly’s former Speaker Hashim Abdul Halim, former Naxal leader Azizul Haque, former Kolkata Mayor Bikash Bhattacharya of CPM and actor-turned-BJP leader Rupa Ganguly. A large number of members of various frontal organs of the Left parties were present as well.

While noted thespian Kaushik Sen skipped the rally alleging that it was not “apolitical”; filmmaker Aparna Sen and poet Sankha Ghosh aired their support but could not participate for personal reasons.

Participants in the rally carried placards and banners demanding an end to the “anarchy, violence and torture on women and students” throughout the state. The placards also cried foul at the alleged police-criminal hobnobbing under the present dispensation.

Several participants claimed that they had taken part in the landmark Parivartan Rally in 2010 that had contributed to the ouster of the Left from Bengal’s power in the 2011 elections. This time round, they once more felt compelled to take to the street “due to the anarchic situation in Bengal”, they said.

Today’s rally comes close on the heels of the recent killing of a student at Sabang College in West Midnapore and the rape and murder of a girl at Ketugram in Burdwan.