Violence erupts during BJP’s protest rally in Kolkata

Police used water cannons and tear gas shells to disperse protesters.

Police used water cannons and tear gas shells to disperse protesters.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Water cannons and tear gas shells were used to disperse protesters demanding a cut in power tariff in West Bengal.

Violence erupted in the Central Avenue area here on Wednesday during a rally organised by the BJP youth wing on power tariffs in Kolkata.

Hundreds of BJP workers marched towards the headquarters of the Calcutta Electric Supply Corporation, which distributes power to Kolkata and the adjoining areas, demanding reduction in the power tariff and that it should be at par with other States.

When the BJP supporters reached close to about 100 metres of the CESC headquarters, the police used water cannons and tear gas shells to disperse them. The BJP supporters tried to breach the barricades and the scuffle continued for almost half an hour. Some BJP activists received injuries and many were taken into police custody.

Raju Banerjee and Sayantan Basu, the two general secretaries of the State BJP who were leading the rally, said unprovoked force was used on the supporters. Both were detained along with supporters. The BJP claimed 85 workers, including five State-level leaders, had been detained. Party State president Dilip Ghosh said the police had used force including baton charge on BJP supporters who were raising issues concerning the people.

Power Minister Sovandeb Chattopadhyay said the tariffs were not fixed by the government but an independent regulatory commission. Trinamool leader and Minister Partha Chaterjee said the BJP’s only agenda these days “is to indulge in hooliganism to grab headlines”.

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Printable version | May 31, 2020 4:15:08 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kolkata/violence-erupts-during-bjps-protest-rally-in-kolkata/article29390518.ece

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