Kolkata/Barasat: A day after a Trinamool Congress (TMC) delegation was detained at Silchar airport in Assam, a section of the party’s supporters today blocked rail and road traffic in pockets of Kolkata and its suburban areas to protest against the incident. Train services were partially affected at the Sealdah Division of Eastern Railway (ER) this morning when a group of people blocked the tracks at Dhubulia and Guma stations. Five trains were delayed due to the protest over a “non-railway issue”, an ER spokesperson said. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life “At Dhubulia, the protesters blocked the tracks for over an hour, delaying two passenger trains. Three EMU locals were also held up at Guma station in the morning,” he added. An eight-member TMC delegation which reached Silchar yesterday to assess the situation in Assam in the wake of publication National Register of Citizens (NRC) draft was not allowed to leave the airport. The party supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee claimed that the delegation members were manhandled at the airport and accused the BJP of imposing “super emergency” in the country. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killed In North 24 Parganas district, The All India Matua Mahasangha, a religious organization representing the backward classes, put up road blockades around 10am, condemning yesterday’s incident, a senior police officer said. TMC MP Mamatabala Thakur is the chairperson of the organization. “The members of Matua Mahasangha blocked the Habra-Bashirhat Road at two places — Pairagachhi and Kashipur – to protest against the alleged manhandling of Mamatabala Thakur at Silchar airport,” the officer said. The blockade was, however, lifted after half-an-hour following police intervention, he added. On Wednesday, too, the Matuas had squatted on railway tracks at many stations in Barasat district, protesting the exclusion of over 40 lakh people from Assam’s complete draft of National Register of Citizens (NRC).
Kolkata: State minister for Technical Education, Training & Skill Development Purnendu Basu urged handloom societies across the state to join hands and create massive awareness of its products and compete with the power loom products.”The products that you are producing are limited to a closed society. You need to come up with a strategy to create an open society for handloom products. You have to go for advertisements or showcase your products. You can take slots in radios and explore other means to reach more consumers,” Basu said at a programme organised by the Weavers’ Service Centre to mark the occasion of World Handloom Day. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeHe emphasised that the same is true for jute products which is also seen as a more fashionable product but whose utilization is much below potential. Stressing on the need to create a powerful society for popularization of handloom and jute products Basu said: “The government alone cannot spoon feed you to keep the traditional handlooms alive. The responsibility is upon you to create a form of movement and knock at the door of the governments both the Centre and the state so that they are compelled to give more importance to this sector,” he added. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedHe regretted that the businessmen associated with the sale of handloom products are focusing more on products of other states for their own petty interests. “If we can ensure selling of only those products that are manufactured by the people of our own state, we can give create a robust market for handloom products. Don’t join hands with the businessmen of Gujarat and keep more and more products produced by our own handloom weavers,” he maintained. Basu further urged the societies to have a proper market study regarding the sales of the handloom products and work towards diversification of products.”There should be a database of semi-skilled, skilled, highly-skilled and unskilled labourers associated with the production of handloom and jute products. Proper project plan for revival of the industry should be in place before you approach the government for assistance or beneficial schemes in this regard,” advised Basu.