On Kolkata clashes, CM alleges BJP brought 'armed goons’ from outside Bengal
BJP supporters indulged in pitched clashes with police, hurled stones at them, set fire to a vehicle, and destroyed a kiosk, while officers used batons and water cannons to disperse the demonstrators.
A day after Bharatiya Janata Party's 'Nabanna Abhijan' (march to secretariat) turned the streets of Kolkata into a battleground, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee alleged on Wednesday that the saffron party brought in hooligans armed with bombs in trains from outside the state to stir up trouble. She added that the “police could have opened fire on violent BJP protesters during the protest march, but the government exercised maximum restraint”.
Speaking during an administrative meeting at Nimtouri in Purba Medinipur district, she said, "Many police personnel were brutally attacked by the participants of that rally, police could have opened fire, but our administration showed maximum restraint,".
BJP supporters indulged in pitched clashes with police, hurled stones at them, set fire to a vehicle, and destroyed a kiosk, while officers used batons and water cannons to disperse the demonstrators. Several people on both sides were hurt in the brawl.
The chief minister said the protest march inconvenienced commuters and traders, as it was held barely a few weeks ahead of Durga Puja, the state’s biggest festival.
"We have nothing against democratic and peaceful protests. But the BJP and its supporters resorted to violence, vandalism and arson. They torched properties and instilled fear among people. We won't allow this. Arrests are being made, and law will take its own course," she said.
On Tuesday, BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari, who was detained by the Kolkata Police while he was trying to visit Santragachi during the party's protest march to Nabanna over alleged corruption by the ruling TMC, had claimed that more than '200 workers' were injured during the protest.
“Many (BJP) workers' hands and feet were broken, and over 200 people were injured. We are going to fight back. The BJP will call a press conference and reveal the party's next programme," Adhikari said.