Kolkata Cops Use Tear Gas, Water Canons On BJP Protesters, Governor To Meet Political Parties
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BJP workers, marching towards the Kolkata Police Headquarters in Lalbazaar, clashed with the police on Wednesday. Reports say that police used tear gas shells, water canons and batons to disperse protesters who tried to breach barricades on Bepin Behari Ganguly Street.
The BJP workers were marching in protest of the killings of their workers in Sandeshkhali in the continuing violence in Bengal in the aftermath of the polls.
NDTV reported that West Bengal governor Kesari Nath Tripathi called for a meeting of the four parties — TMC, BJP, CPM and Congress — in the state on Thursday to discuss the law and order situation in the aftermath of the clashes.
A video of the incident tweeted by ANI shows a face-off between the Kolkata police and protesters who climbed on the barricades and tried to pull them down.
The video shows the police used water canons after the BJP workers managed to pull down a couple of barricades.
Bengali newspaper Ananda Bazaar Patrika reported that the BJP workers also pelted stones at the police.
West Bengal: Kolkata police baton charge at BJP workers on Bepin Behari Ganguly Street. They were marching towards Lal Bazar protesting against TMC govt. pic.twitter.com/NZrYcTspeo
— ANI (@ANI) June 12, 2019
The Hindustan Times reported that the march started at Kolkata’s Subodh Mullick Square and was supposed to move towards Lalbazaar.
PTI said that the BJP activists jostled to reach the Bowbazar crossing in the city, police resorted to firing tear gas shells and water cannons to disperse them.
In retaliation, the saffron party workers raised slogans and hurled stones and bottles at the officers.
The saffron party workers, along with 18 newly elected MPs in the state, including BJP state president Dilip Ghosh, MP Locket Chatterji and Kailash Vijaywargiya participated in the march.
Bengal’s BJP minder Kailash Vijayvargiya and senior party leader Mukul Roy also joined the march.
Post-poll violence has been reported from various places of West Bengal after the BJP secured 18 of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in the state, just four less than that of the TMC.
Roy Tuesday blamed Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for the clashes in North 24 Parganas’ Sandeshkhali on Saturday that claimed three lives, and demanded an investigation into the violence by anti-terror probe agency NIA.
Banerjee had earlier accused the BJP of “spreading false information as part of a game plan to topple her government”.
(with PTI inputs)