The All India Minority Forum, one of the conveners of the three-hour West Bengal shutdown stir that led to large-scale violence in Kolkata on Wednesday, alleged that police provocation and conspiracy hatched by CPI(M) resulted in the untoward incidents.
Admitting that the situation had now gone out of their control, AIMF president Idris Ali claimed that the disturbances started after police 'without reason' arrested about 200 agitators owing allegiance to his organisation and the Furfurasharif Muzadeddia Anath Foundation at Park Circus seven-point crossing in the southern part of the city.
"We had not yet started any blockade then. But these arrests enraged the others present there," said Ali.
The two organisations gave the call for a three-hour shutdown from 9:00 am in protest against the recapture of Nandigram and demanding cancellation of the visa of controversial Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen.
"We admit that the situation has now gone out of our hands. But had the police not provoked us, things would not have taken such a violent turn," Ali told PTI.
Ali appealed for peace, but alleged West Bengal's ruling Left Front major CPI(M)'s hand in the disturbances that led to the government calling in the army.
"I condemn whatever happened later. It was not our aim to foment trouble. It could be that some anti-socials backed by the CPI(M) spread the violence," he said.
Ali claimed that 2,000 to 3,000 people were also arrested in Rajarhat at the outskirts of the city, while there were road and rail blockades in several districts including Murshidabad, Howrah, Malda, Burdwan, North 24 Parganas and South 24 Parganas.