Kolkata: Around 13 policemen and several BJP workers were injured in a clash, when party activists tried to break police barricades, while they were marching towards Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s residence in protest against attack on Union minister Babul Supriyo.
The protesters alleged that the police resorted to lathicharge. The police, however, denied the claim and said they only tried to disperse the agitators.
The march to the Chief Minister’s residence was part of the BJP’s agitation to register protest against yesterday’s attack on the Union minister at Asansol.
Kolkata Police Joint CP (headquarters) Supratim Sarkar said, “BJP workers attempted to break police cordon, pelted stones, assaulted lady police personnel and damaged three police vehicles.”
Four BJP activists and 13 policemen were injured in the clash. A total of 18 BJP workers, including five female activists of the party, were arrested, he said.
The BJP workers began the protest march from Rashbehari crossing towards Hazra crossing, on way to CM’s residence.
Condemning the police action, BJP Rajya Sabha MP Roopa Ganguly, who was among the protestors, said that they had organised a peaceful protest-march, but the police resorted to lathicharge causing severe injuries to many.
“The police personnel even threw stones targetting the procession,” she alleged.
Denying that BJP workers hurled stones at policemen, Roopa Ganguly alleged that some police women rather hit them from behind. She asserted, “We have the right to hold protest”.
Trinamool Congress secretary-general Partha Chatterjee, however, charged BJP with trying to create lawlessness in the state.
“We condemn it. They have no organisational strength.
They are trying to create lawlessness in the state,” he said.
“When Mamata Banerjee was in Singur to return land to the farmers, why did they go to her residence? They are trying to block development of the state,” Partha said, adding they should have protested in Asansol.
BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha also alleged that they were holding a “peaceful agitation” when the police hit them with lathis to break the protest.