Bengal Police start probe into Kolkata clashes, arrest over 20 for assault

Published on Sep 14, 2022 02:25 PM IST

Police used batons, water cannons, tear gas shells and stun grenades at several locations to disperse BJP workers who were found pelting stones and glass bottles.

Stones being pelted during Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)'s 'Nabanna Chalo' march against the state government in Kolkata on Tuesday (ANI)
Stones being pelted during Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)'s 'Nabanna Chalo' march against the state government in Kolkata on Tuesday (ANI)

KOLKATA: More than 20 people have been arrested in specific cases of assault on police officers and destruction of government property in Kolkata and Howrah during Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Nabanna Chalo (March to Nabanna) agitation, police officers aware of the matter said on Wednesday.

Twenty-seven police personnel, including some senior officers, were injured on Tuesday and a police vehicle was torched in the violence that broke out after the authorities told the BJP that their protest march to the state secretariat on the outskirts of Kolkata could not be allowed due to prohibitory orders in place.

Police used batons, water cannons, tear gas shells and stun grenades at several locations to disperse BJP workers who were found pelting stones and glass bottles.

Former BJP state president Rahul Sinha, who was among those detained for violating prohibitory orders, denied the allegations saying no BJP worker was involved in the violence.

“It was a black day for Bengal,” said Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha member Santanu Sen, condemning the violence.

The city police have not given details of the people arrested for Tuesday’s clashes.

Debjit Chatterjee, an assistant commissioner of Kolkata Police, suffered multiple fractures in his right arm when he was assaulted with sticks while he was trying to run away from a mob. The incident was caught on camera. Chatterjee is admitted to SSKM Hospital.

In another incident, Satinath Chattaraj, the inspector-in-charge of Howrah’s Jagachha police station, suffered injuries to his right eye during stone pelting by BJP workers. He is also in hospital.

The clashes, which mark yet another face-off between the BJP and the TMC, took place mainly at Santragachhi in Howrah and Mahatma Gandhi Road, Burrabazar and Brabourne Road in Kolkata.

The BJP announced its programme of marching to Nabanna in August. At 1pm on Tuesday, three groups of the BJP workers started marching to the state secretariat — one led by Suvendu Adhikari and Locket Chatterjee from Kolkata, a second led by Dilip Ghosh from Howrah and a third by Sukanta Majumdar and Jagannath Chatterjee, also from Howrah. But within minutes, all three processions found their road blocked by the police and barricades, leading to clashes.

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