Police use batons, tear gas to break up BJPYM protest in Bengal’s Asansol
The Bengal police on Friday launched a baton charge and fired tear gas shells to control Bharatiya Janata Party Yuva Morcha (BJPYM) supporters after a plan to lay siege to the municipal corporation in Asansol in protest against the ruling Trinamool Congress leaders taking ‘cut money’ from the poor quickly spiraled into a clash.
Police had erected barricades on different roads leading to the municipal corporation building in Asansol, 210 km northwest of Kolkata. Clashes ensued when the agitators tried to move through the layers of barricades.
“To control the situation policemen were forced to fire tear gas shells,” said D P Singh, commissioner of Asansol Durgapur Police. Police officers said two policemen were injured when the agitators threw bricks at them.
“BJP planned an attack on TMC workers who organized a blood donation camp. BJP is trying to create trouble and unrest in the area. In the name of submission of deputation, they attacked police officers too,” alleged Jitendra Tiwari, mayor of Asansol and a legislator of Pandaveswar.
The BJP, however, reacted sharply and alleged that they were attacked. “In the name of a blood donation camp, TMC workers gathered here to attack us,” alleged Lakshman Garui, district BJP president.
BJP leaders claimed that two of their supporters were injured when police launched a baton charge on them. They also said that TMC supporters attacked them when their procession was proceeding towards the municipal corporation building.
When BJP supporters breached the barricade, police charged at them, said Debojit Sarkar, the state president of BJPYM.
Asansol was one of the key Lok Sabha constituencies which Union minister Babul Supriyo retained bettering his 2014 winning margin of 70,480 to more than 1.97 lakh this year.
Trouble also broke out at Ranaghat College in Bengal’s Nadia district, about 85 km north of Kolkata, when supporters of the BJP’s students’ wing Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad wanted to submit a memorandum of demands to a college principal
Nadia police superintendent Rupesh Kumar said that five policemen were injured when the agitators began to hurl brickbats at the cops who responded by firing tear gas shells.
The memorandum was concerned with the primary point that outsiders should not be allowed to enter the college campus.
“When we went to submit the memorandum, followers of Trinamool Congress Chhatra Parishad also gathered there and they tried to obstruct us. A scuffle ensued. The police tried to defuse the tension and escorted six of us to the principal’s chamber. But outsiders led by the TMCP started trouble again, and police resorted to baton charge and fired tear gas shells to control the situation,” said Saptarshi Sarkar, state general secretary of ABVP.
“Three-four of our supporters were injured,” said Sarkar, who added that they were not accusing the police of violence.
Trouble was also reported from Minakha near Sandeshkhali area in Basirhat, where the BJP’s Bengal unit general secretary Sayantanu Basu and former IPS Bharati Ghosh had gone on Friday to lead a protest meeting against the alleged violence by ruling TMC on June 18, when two BJP workers and one TMC worker were killed by gunfire.
“TMC men attacked our supporters who were on their way to the Friday meeting. Four of our injured supporters were admitted to Basirhat hospital,” said BJP’s Basirhat district committee president Ganesh Ghosh.