KOLKATA: The first major political agitation in the city since the start of the pandemic choked a large part of central Kolkata and Howrah on Thursday as cops and BJP workers battled each other for nearly four hours on a weekday, turning several areas into war zones.
The entire Hastings belt in central Kolkata, Howrah Bridge, Howrah Maidan and Santragachhi bore the brunt as cops used innovations — like spraying coloured water — to push back the marchers, besides resorting to time-tested tactics like lathi-charge and bursting tear-gas shells. The marchers gave it back in equal measure, hurling bricks and bombs at cops in Howrah’s Mallick Fatak. Cops also recovered a 9-mm revolver from a 42-year-old BJP supporter with a licence issued by the Jammu and Kashmir Police (valid in Rajouri district)
Cops detained 113 BJP supporters, including Balwinder Singh, the man with the revolver. Singh told interrogators that he “also stayed in Bhatpara for business”, prompting Trinamool leaders to accuse the BJP of bringing in outsiders to “destroy peace in the state”. “How can political workers carry revolvers to a ‘peaceful’ rally?” state urban development minister Firhad Hakim asked. The Trinamool will hold a candle-light march on Friday to protest against the BJP’s “politics of violence”.
Reported by PTI
Date – 09-October-2020