Indian state goes "on strike" to protest killings
The strike in Kolkata today in response to these killings is part of a strong tradition of protest strikes (called Bandh) common in South Asian countries like India and Nepal. Bandh have been outlawed by the Indian Supreme Court, but that has not stopped political parties from organizing them. They are said to be "a powerful means for civil disobedience;" no surprise there. Imagine an incident in your area resulting in the entire infrastructure of that area--whether town, city, state or province--being completely shut down for 24 hours or longer.
India's eastern communist-ruled state of West Bengal saw scattered incidents of violence and a total shutdown Friday in response to a 24-hour strike called by opposition parties over the shooting of protesting farmers by the police.
Fourteen people were killed Wednesday when the police fired on protestors in Nandigram, about 140 kilometres south of state capital, Kolkata.
The farmers were protesting the government's proposal to set up a chemical hub and industrial zone on cropland.
More than 100 people were arrested in various parts of the state Friday as strike supporters beat up government officials, torched a bus, damaged trucks and disrupted road and rail traffic, PTI news agency reported.