Nineteen people were injured, three critically, when a bus carrying CPI(M) supporters on their way to the Shahid Minar meet convened by the CPI(M) Kolkata district committee, turned on its side near Johnson and Nicholson island on Red Road on Sunday.
The incident took place around 2 pm when the driver, allegedly inebriated, lost control of the vehicle. The bus was approaching from Barisha in the south-western fringes of the city, carrying nearly 50 CPI(M) supporters. “The driver has escaped.We are looking for him,” a senior Lalbazar official said.
The three injured were admitted to NRS Medical College and Hospital and discharged in the evening. Others were let off after receiving emergency first aide at SSKM hospital.
Meanwhile, there were major traffic disruptions in the afternoon, when CPI(M) supporters rallied at the venue of the meet, addressed by former chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya and opposition leader Suryakanta Mishra among others.
According to police estimates, around 18,000 people turned up for the Shahid Minar meet. CPI(M) workers expressed happiness that the party was showing signs of turning their luck around.
“After the 2011 Assembly elections there were apprehensions that we would be targeted. But now the fear has largely subsided and our supporters are turning up on the streets in the thousands,” said Ashim Pramanik, from Hazra.
Supporters were also glad that the consecutive losses at the 2009 Lok Sabha, 2010 municipal and 2011 Assembly elections exposed the true colours of certain people in the party.
“Previously, lots of people would participate in CPI(M) rallies. But now, many have switched sides and are participating in Trinamool meetings. The loss has actually helped us put our house in order and flush out the impurities,” said Radhapacharan Pal, from Metiabruz.