BJP Suvendu Adhikari Massive clashes as Kolkata police fire tear gas and water cannons at protesting BJP workers

Kolkata: Widespread violence was seen during a massive BJP protest march towards the West Bengal Secretariat “Nabanna” against the alleged corrupt practices of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) government in West Bengal. Police officers, supporters and BJP leaders including Mina Devi Purohit and Swapan Dasgupta were reportedly injured in the clashes that took place on the roads around the iconic Howrah railway station in the 19th century.

BJP leader and opposition West Bengal Assembly (LoP) leader Suvendu Adhikari was detained for a few hours as clashes erupted between BJP workers and police outside the station from Raniganj. Police arrested several BJP workers along with Adhikari as they were leaving for Nabanna to participate in the Nabanna Abhiyan. In Howrah, protests spiraled out of control and police used tear gas and water cannons at BJP workers.

The National Commission for Women (NCW) has called on Kolkata Police to take strict action against its male officers who allegedly assaulted BJP leader Meena Devi Purohit. NCW sprang into action after coming across a video clip on Twitter, in which Meena Devi is seen being brutally assaulted by male police officers during the mega ‘Nabanna Cholo’.

A divisional bench consisting of Chief Justice Prakash Srivastava and Justice Rajasrshi Bharadwaj of the Calcutta High Court has asked the Chief Secretary of West Bengal to submit a report on alleged police atrocities against BJP leaders and workers during the protest march.

While the Trinamool Congress (TMC) questioned the BJP on the reasons for the protest, the latter said the agitation was against alleged corruption in the West Bengal government. Adhikari, while alleging that Mamata Banerjee was “turning WB into North Korea”, also criticized the TMC for its “dictatorship”.

BJP’s Nabanna Abhiyan: key developments

  • The National Commission for Women (NCW) has called for strict action against police officers who allegedly assaulted Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Meena Devi Purohit. “You are required to take strict action against wandering male police officers and file an FIR under the above-mentioned provisions of the Indian Penal Code 1860. The brutality inflicted on the female by a male police officer reflects the fact that the enforcement of the law is not working effectively in Kolkata and stricter rules and regulations must be established in order to prevent such police actions,” NCW said in its letter to Kolkata Police Commissioner Vineet Kumar Goyal.
  • Meanwhile, the BJP moved the High Court in Kolkata against today’s police crackdown on its leaders and workers in Kolkata during their march. The HC has requested a report from the West Bengal Home Secretary on today’s BJP rally. The report must be submitted by September 19. The HC also ordered the police not to unlawfully detain anyone and also to ensure that there is no damage to public property.
  • Kolkata Police have now released BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari who was arrested earlier today during the Nabanna Chalo party march. He said after being released: “Many (BJP) workers’ hands and feet were broken, more than 200 workers were injured. We will fight against this. The BJP will call a press conference and reveal the party’s next platform.
  • Addressed exclusively to times now, BJP MP Dilip Ghosh said categorically that BJP workers did not torch the police vehicle. He criticized the Trinamool Congress government for misusing the police to suppress the voice of BJP workers protesting against corruption in the Mamata Banerjee-led regime. Ghosh further criticized the TMC government for the arrest of Partha Chatterjee in a teacher recruitment case, Anubrata Mondal in an alleged cattle smuggling case and the alleged coal scam case in which Abhishek Banerjee was questioned.
  • Times Now has accessed footage of the moment before the police vehicle was torched in Kolkata by an angry mob during the BJP’s ‘Nabanna Chalo’ march
  • BJP leader Amit Malviya accused Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee of sending TMC cadres to throw stones at the police so that later the BJP could be blamed.
  • BJP MP Subhas Sarkar accused Trinamool of provoking those taking part in the peaceful protest. He asked the TMC government why permission was not given for the march to Nabanna.
  • Talk to times now, Trinamool Congresswoman (TMC), Sougata Roy, flatly denied police authoritarianism against BJP workers. He criticized the BJP and accused opposition party workers of throwing stones at police personnel. He said that the members of the saffron party are hooligans and want to cause chaos at all costs.
  • Former deputy mayor Meena Devi Purohit and several other BJP workers were reportedly injured in clashes with police.
  • A police vehicle was torched during the BJP’s ‘Nabanna Chalo’ march against the Kolkata state government.
  • Calcutta police vehicles burnt down
  • West Bengal Police personnel in Kolkata beat a BJP worker who joined other party members in their call for a ‘Nabanna Chalo’ march – watch video
  • West Bengal BJP Chairman Sukanta Majumdar and other Saffron Party leaders were arrested and taken from the protest site in a police van.
  • “This is Bengal rising up against Mamata Banerjee and her family’s rampant plunder of state resources. The BJP is leading what has now become the people’s movement to overthrow Mamata Banerjee and her dictatorial regime of bogus, in Bengal. It will happen sooner than she imagined.…” says BJP leader Amit Malviya.
  • “We will sit here and continue the protest. We will discuss with senior leaders how to proceed. The police arrested us and so the clashes broke out,” BJP chairman Sukanta Majuimdar said.
  • Several levels of barricades were set up to ensure that no protesters could get to the secretariat building. Water cannons, RAF and police personnel present in large numbers.
  • Police launch charges of lathi and water cannons at BJP workers trying to scale barricades. Protesters have resorted to throwing stones at police personnel in return.
  • ‘Mamata Banerjee is modern-day Hitler’: BJP accuses state CM of being bully after state police attempt to quell ‘Nabanna Cholo Abhiyan’ violence in West Bengal.
  • West Bengal: Police use water cannons and tear gas shells to arrest and disperse BJP workers in Santragachhi neighborhood of Howrah amid their call for Nabanna Chalo march.
  • BJP and LoP leader Suvendu Adhikari was arrested by West Bengal police as tensions between protesters and cops escalated during the Nabanna Chalo rally. Adhikari alleged that CM Mamata Banerjee was turning West Bengal into “North Korea”.
  • West Bengal: A group of BJP workers use a boat to cross Tribeni River, Hooghly to reach Nabanna, following BJP’s Nabanna Chalo march. Party leaders including Suvendu Adhikari and Locket Chatterjee were arrested en route and detained by police today.
  • “CM Mamata doesn’t have the support of her people and therefore she enforces a dictatorship, similar to North Korea in Bengal… The police will have to pay for what they are doing since yesterday, the BJP is coming,” says LoP Suvendu Adhikari ahead of BJP’s Nabanna Chalo march
  • Several levels of barricades were set up to ensure that no protesters could get to the secretariat building. Water cannons, RAF and police personnel present in large numbers.
  • Police erected heavy barricades in Hastings near the new state government secretariat in Kolkata ahead of BJP’s Nabanna Chalo march
  • Buses carrying BJP workers, on their way to Kolkata to participate in the Nabanna Chalo march, stopped by police in northern 24 Parganas
  • Footage from the area showed hundreds of BJP workers heading towards Kolkata to join the BJP’s Nabanna march via trains. The West Bengal Police barricaded the paths leading to the train stations to prevent them from participating in the Nabanna rally. “20 of our workers were arrested by police near Durgapur railway station. I arrived here by other ways,” BJP leader Abhijit Dutta said, news agency ANI reported.

West Bengal became North Korea: Suvendu Adhikari

“Police should help protesters to ensure law and order is maintained during the rally, not ban them,” said BJP leader Roopa Ganguly. Suvendu Adhikari, a former leader of the TMC and currently opposition leader in the West Bengal Assembly, claimed that the state had transformed into “North Korea”. “Our workers are protesting the corruption of Mamta Banerjee’s government and she has turned Bengal into North Korea,” Adhikari said.

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TMC leader Manojit Mandal justified the police action against the BJP leaders and asked what the BJP was protesting against. “They should be protesting something legitimate like rising prices and inflation,” Mandal told Times Now. The BJP claimed it would take to the streets to protest against “corruption” in the government of West Bengal.

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