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BJP workers, police clash across Kolkata

Kolkata: BJP workers today clashed with the police at different places in the metropolis during their march to the police headquarters demanding the arrest of “corrupt” TMC leaders, prompting the force to use teargas shells, water canons, and batons to disperse them.

BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, state chief Dilip Ghosh and party Rajya Sabha MP Roopa Ganguly were among those detained by the law enforcement officials during the protests.

Several parts of the city witnessed pitched battles as BJP workers tried to break through barricades, with police using force to disperse them, two days after similar scenes were witnessed during a left-sponsored rally.

A police vehicle was set on fire on B B Ganguly street while some police vehicles were damaged, allegedly by BJP workers, on Central Avenue and Bentinck street.

The saffron party’s workers, led by Ghosh, marched towards the city police headquarters at Lalbazar in the central part of the city, but were stopped by the police on Brabourne road near their destination.

The protestors then tried to break the barricades put up on the road, forcing the police to use force.

On nearby Phears Lane, the police resorted to a baton charge to disperse BJP activists led by Vijayvargiya, as they too tried to break barricades put up there.

Bentinck street, close to the Lalbazar headquarters, also saw violence unfold as the agitators hurled stones and glass bottles at the police and got lathi charged by them.

BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha and MP Roopa Ganguly led the march in the Bentinck street area.

A huge police contingent was deployed at different points across the metropolis in view of the BJP’s programme.

Ganguly said that they wanted to go to the police headquarters to submit a deputation demanding arrest of “corrupt” TMC leaders and over alleged “lawlessnesses” in the state.

“Why was such a huge police deployment made to stop us?” she wanted to know.

Some passengers of the Metro Rail complained that the police entered the underground Central Station and beat them up. A senior Metro officer said their complaints would be looked into.

Mediapersons covering the agitation were given yellow jackets to wear by the police. This was to identify them easily so that the incidents of May 22, in which journalists were beaten up by the law-enforcers during the left-sponsored march to state secretariat, would not recur.

—PTI