Clash breaks out between ISF workers and Kolkata police; several injured

Published on Jan 21, 2023 08:26 PM IST

Earlier in the day, a clash broke out between the ISF and the ruling-Trinamool Congress workers over the hoisting of party flags at Bhangore in east Kolkata.

Around 19 police personnel, including three senior Indian Police Service (IPS) officers and several IFS workers were injured in the clash (Twitter Photo)
Around 19 police personnel, including three senior Indian Police Service (IPS) officers and several IFS workers were injured in the clash (Twitter Photo)

Indian Secular Front (ISF) workers clashed with city police in central Kolkata on Saturday afternoon following the arrest of ISF legislator Naushad Siddiqui, officials said.

Police said the incident took place at the heart of the city in Esplanade, where the police resorted to lathi charge and tear gas to disperse the protesting crowd.

“At least 17 persons, including Siddiqui, were arrested. Police had to use mild force and fire tear gas shells to bring situations under control,” said Vineet Goyal, Kolkata police commissioner

“Around 19 police personnel, including three senior Indian Police Service (IPS) officers, were injured,” he added.

Earlier in the day, a clash broke out between the ISF and the ruling-Trinamool Congress workers over the hoisting of party flags at Bhangore in east Kolkata.

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According to the police, party workers on both sides attacked each other with rods, sticks and bricks and there were also allegations of crude bombs being hurled.

Several vehicles and property were also damaged, following which a large police contingent was deployed to bring situations under control.

Amid the Bhangore-clash, a few hundred ISF workers reached Kolkata and held a protest at Esplanade, demanding the arrest of local TMC leaders of Bhangore, including TMC leader Arabul Islam.

While the TMC alleged that ISF first led the attack and set ablaze three TMC party offices, the ISF alleged that TMC workers, led by Islam attacked ISF legislator Naushad Siddiqui’s convoy.

“The TMC led the attack. We have been in touch with the Leather Complex police station since morning. This could have been avoided if the police wanted,” said Siddiqui.

“It was the ISF workers which first launched the attack. Our three party offices have been set ablaze,” said Islam.

According to the commissioner, when the police reached the spot to disperse the protestors, a scuffle broke out in which police personnel were allegedly attacked by ISF workers following the arrest of their party legislator.

Police had to resort to lathi charge and fire tear gas shells in which a few ISF workers were also injured, he said.

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Goyal said the accused were arrested and charged under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including rioting, attacking policemen and damage to public property.

The incident triggered a political mud-slinging between the ruling-TMC and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

“This was planned by the Mamata Banerjee-led government. Kolkata police do not recognize anybody and take orders only from Mamata Banerjee and her nephew,” Suvendu Adhikari, BJP legislator and leader of the opposition told media persons.

Hitting back, Santanu Sen, TMC MP said, “The opposition parties are failing to politically fight Mamata Banerjee. They are taking the law into their own hands, damaging property and attacking police to remain politically relevant.”

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