A Left rally in support of the pan India strike. At Garia in south Kolkata.
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Kolkata: Mamata Banerjee government has directed the civil administration and police to provide adequate security cover to state and Central government offices during the 48-hour pan India general strike that commences at 6 am tomorrow (8 January).

The strike has been convened by several Left trade unions against the “anti-people policies” of the BJP-led Central government.

Issuing an order today, Bengal home department has directed the director general of police, additional DG (law and order), divisional commissioners and, district magistrates to strictly ensure that all government offices in the state functions normally during the 8-9 January bandh.

This is even as the CPI-M state secretary, Surjya Kanta Mishra, has warned that force will be met with force if the police and administration try to foil the bandh forcibly.

The government, on the other hand, has directed that not only state government offices, but the police also have to ensure adequate security cover to Central government offices in Bengal as well so that picketers cannot enforce the bandh.

Kolkata Police is pressing in an additional 3,000 police personnel on the streets of Kolkata from Tuesday to keep the picketers at bay. Some 300 temporary police pickets will be posted at important road junctions in the city, Lalbazar officers said.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, while leaving state secretariat Nabanna this evening, reiterated the resolve to foil the bandh.

“We have seen enough of bandhs in their (Left Front) 34 years. There will be no bandh in Bengal tomorrow and the day after,” she said.

The Left parties and their trade unions, however, have planned at least 10 rallies in support of the bandh on Tuesday. They have taken out several pro-bandh rallies in Kolkata and the districts in the past one fortnight.