Kolkata; A protest march to state secretariat Nabanna by West Bengal BJP, which was organised by the party’s Yuva Morcha, turned violent on Thursday after party workers allegedly hurled bombs and pelted stones at the policemen in Kolkata and the adjoining Howrah district.
The police resorted to lathi-charge and also used tear gas shells to disperse the agitators who were marching towards the Nabanna building that houses Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s office.
Bengaluru South MP Tejasvi Surya, the newly-appointed national President of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), who landed in Kolkata late on Wednesday night, led one of the rallies from the Howrah Maidan.
“It was a peaceful protest march. But the police, who are hand in glove with Trinamool Congress goons, tried to frustrate the political programme. Over 1,000 BJP workers were injured and over 500 were arrested during the rally. Is this called democracy in Bengal,” asked Surya, dubbing it as a ‘Black Day’ in the history of state politics.
Several BJP activists, including state Vice President Raju Banerjee, were injured in the clash. BJP state President Dilip Ghosh was also injured in the lathi-charge. Angry party workers also set tyres on fire as a mark of protest.
Senior state BJP leaders, including Kailash Vijayvargiya, Arjun Singh, Locket Chatterjee and Mukul Roy, were among those present in the protest march.
Protesting against the alleged deterioration of law and order situation in the state, the youth wing of the saffron party organised a march to Nabanna from four areas with a seven-point charter of demands.
The protest was part of the BJP’s political strategy before the final push against the ruling Trinamool Congress government in West Bengal, as the state Assembly elections are due in April-May next year.
However, the Mamata Banerjee-led state government had announced on Wednesday that the building will remain shut down for two days, on October 8 and 9, for a Covid-19 sanitisation drive.
The state BJP leadership also termed the decision of closing down Nabanna as a reflection of Trinamool Congress’ fear.
Countering the BJP, Trinamool Congress Lok Sabha MP Saugata Roy said that Mamata Banerjee would be the last person to be afraid of the BJP.