Kolkata: The West Bengal government on Wednesday put in place several measures to prevent Thursday's NDA-sponsored 12-hour 'Bharat Bandh' against petrol price hike while issuing a circular warning government employees against any leave on Thursday.
"All state government offices will remain open and all government officers and employees should report for duty. Government employees will not be granted any leave on May 31," Chief Secretary Samar Ghosh said in a circular on Tuesday, which was circulated among all departments Wednesday.
Different employees unions said that the circular was a warning to government employees of pay-cut in the event of absence from duty on Thursday without specific reason.
The state government had effected pay-cut in salaries of government employees who were absent during the February 28 countrywide general strike called by Left trade unions.
The circular said that all precautionary measures should be taken to ensure that there was no violation of law and order and that no untoward incident took place.
"Attempts at forcible closure of government offices, shops, markets, educational institutions, industrial establishments, etc, should be firmly dealt with", it said, adding, "vital installations should be specially guarded".
The circular said that normal vocation of the people in general should not be allowed to be disturbed. "In particular it should be ensured that there is no interruption in normal
flow of road traffic or stoppage of movement or trains due to squatting or other types of blockades," it said.
The circular also instructed the police to undertake extensive road patrolling, besides keeping ready adequate Reserve Police Force with vehicles at strategic centres to make them available on demand to deal with untoward situation, if any. Similarly, alert has been sounded to the fire brigade.
The chief secretary also asked all concerned to ensure that no property of railways and other central government offices and undertakings were damaged or destroyed and to keep the administration informed of all developments including law and order situation immediately.
Meanwhile, state Transport Minister Madan Mitra said that all modes of transport would remain normal on Thursday and asked people to attend offices, schools and colleges without any
Mitra said, "It was our Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who raised her protest first against petrol price hike and participated in a procession. This bandh has no importance to the people in the state."