Supporters of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are holding protests across Kochbihar district (West Bengal state) on Thursday, November 19. The demonstrations are being held in coordination with a 12-hour shutdown strike called by the BJP after a worker was allegedly killed by assailants affiliated with the rival Trinamool Congress (TMC). Spontaneous protests have been reported in towns and cities across the district and clashes between BJP and TMC supporters have been reported, with police using force to disperse the rival supporters. Many shops have closed due to the strike, which is expected to take place between 06:00 and 18:00 (local time), with protests likely to continue throughout this period.
A heightened security presence and localized disruptions to transport are likely in the vicinity of the demonstrations and further clashes between rival party supporters and police dispersal operations are expected to continue over the coming hours.
Those in Kochbihar district are advised to monitor the situation, avoid any protests and spontaneous gatherings due to the risk of incidental violence and crowd-related disturbances, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.
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