The Bharatiya Janata Party today claimed that senior party leader and former Rajya Sabha MP Swapan Dasgupta was attacked by Kolkata police personnel while he was addressing party workers during the ‘Nabanna Chalo Abhijan’ (march to Bengal Secretariat).Soon after, Dasgupta was seen sitting on a bench with his body covered in mud.
Speaking to a media channel, BJP’s Shishir Bajoria alleged that Dasgupta was left injured as the police charged at him, adding that Dasgupta was saved from taking a fall as his aide was standing next to him.
Describing the chaos that prevailed during the rally, Dasgupta said that he was caught in a stampede as the police resorted to lathi-charge, after using tear-gas and water cannons to disperse the protesters. He felt a shove or a lathi from the police.
After BJP’s march against the ruling Trinamool’s alleged corrupt practices turned violent, several visuals showed BJP supporters pelting stones at the police and a police vehicle being set on fire. Soon after the incident, the BJP blamed Trinamool workers behind the violence that erupted across several areas in the Howrah district. According to BJP IT cell head and Bengal’s co-observer Amit Malviya, several TMC workers entered the BJP rally and started creating mayhem by pelting stones at the police. Malviya further claimed that the violence unfolded at the directions of Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Ruling out BJP’s claims, the TMC blamed the failure of the BJP’s ‘peaceful protests’ behind such ‘wild’ allegations.
Violence erupted at several places including Howrah’s Santragachi and Kolkata’s MG Road as BJP workers were marching towards Nabanna. According to reports, BJP workers clashed with the police in Santragachi as they tried to break the barricades in place. In Kolkata’s MG Road area, a police vehicle was set ablaze.
Tweeting a video showing a police van on fire and a person throwing stones from a distance, Malviya wrote, “Mamata has sent TMC workers to the BJP rally to throw stones at the police. This was a ploy to blame BJP.”
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In the first round of high-profile arrests, Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari and BJP MP from Hooghly Locket Chatterjee were detained at the 2nd Hooghly Bridge at around 12:30 pm. Adhikari even claimed that he was manhandled by women police officers.
Blaming the BJP for all the mayhem and violence, TMC tweeted, “This is BJP’s real face. They are a party filled with gundas. If they understood the meaning of peaceful protests, they would never have allowed the protests to take a violent turn. We are against this behaviour of disrupting the city peace and vandalising of government property.”