Bengal mayhem: TMC says police showed ‘tremendous restraint’ in face of ‘extreme provocation’ | The Financial Express

Bengal mayhem: TMC says police showed ‘tremendous restraint’ in face of ‘extreme provocation’

A police vehicle was torched in Kolkata and officials of the force, including an assistant commissioner, were beaten up allegedly by members of the BJP during a protest march during their march to West Bengal secretariat ‘Nabanna Abhiyan’ in Howrah.

Bengal mayhem: TMC says police showed ‘tremendous restraint’ in face of ‘extreme provocation’
Firefighters try to douse a fire set in a police vehicle by some miscreants near Nakhoda Mosque in Kolkata on Tuesday. (PTI Photo)

Following violent clashes between BJP supporters and police in parts of Kolkata and Howrah district, Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Sougata Roy said that the police had shown “tremendous restraint” in the face of “extreme provocation”.

A police vehicle was torched in Kolkata and officials of the force, including an assistant commissioner, were beaten up allegedly by members of the BJP during a protest march during their march to West Bengal secretariat ‘Nabanna Abhiyan’ in Howrah on Tuesday.

“Where did Mamata Banerjee show dictatorship? The programme (BJP rally) has been continuing since noon. The police have not fired on anybody,” the Trinamool MP told NDTV.

“The BJP workers have thrown stones and bricks at random. They have injured several policemen including IPS officers. They have broken cars in Burrabazar area… Very few BJP people have been injured. In every TV screen you can see BJP workers throwing stones,” Roy added.

Also Read: ‘Nabanna Chalo’: Swapan Dasgupta attacked by police, claims BJP; blames TMC ‘goons’ for mayhem

Referring to the 1993 incident when TMC workers were killed in police firing in Calcutta, which the Bengal government marks as Martyr’s Day, he asked, “Have the police fired even one round today? If this is not democracy, what is?”

When asked about the turnout on the BJP’s protest march today that the ruling party at the Centre claimed was an indicator of people’s angst against the Mamata Banerjee-led government, Roy called it “fake crowd”.

“The people have not come out. Those seen in the protest were state BJP workers, many of whom were paid Rs 1,200 each to come. The BJP has spent Rs 3 crore to pay them, another Rs 2 crore to bring them in buses,” Roy claimed.

Several BJP leaders were detained during the party’s march, ANI reported.

Meanwhile, the Calcutta High Court sought a report from the West Bengal home secretary on the violence, The Indian Express reported.

The court directed to file a report by September 19 on n allegations that BJP supporters were prevented from attending the march to the State Secretariat. It also ordered the state not to make unnecessary arrests or detention in connection with the rally.

BJP spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya had said that a total of 363 of BJP workers were injured during the clashes, and 35 workers and leaders have been hospitalised. Condition of three persons is critical, he said.

Kolkata Joint CP (Crime), Murlidhar Sharma, said that a total of 90 people have been arrested, and 27 cops, including two officers, were injured in the violence.

Also Read: ‘Nabanna Abhijan’: Highways turn battlefield in West Bengal as protests against Mamata govt take a violent turn

The “Nabanna Abhiyan” is the first major campaign by the BJP to revitalise its cadre after the party’s decisive defeat in the state in 2021. BJP said that the aim of the protest was to call out the “rampant corruption” in the ruling TMC party.

The police on Tuesday had set up barricades to prevent at least three rallies from reaching the Secretariat in Howrah. This led to BJP protesters pelting stones and throwing glass bottles as well as vandalising a police kiosk. Following this, police resorted to tear gas, water cannons and lathi charge.

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