KOLKATA- The police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse the BJP protesters near the Howrah bridge as they clashed with security officials. A police car was also set on fire. Several BJP workers were detained by the police following the clashes. Party workers were taken into preventive custody in Raniganj as well.
Several BJP leaders in West Bengal, including Leader of the Opposition Suvendu Adhikari, were detained by the police today when they were marching to state secretariat ‘Nabanna’ in Kolkata, as part of a huge protest over alleged corruption by the ruling Trinamool Congress government.
Suvendu Adhikari, BJP MP Locket Chatterjee and other party leaders, including Rahul Sinha, were stopped by the police as they approached the Second Hooghly Bridge near the secretariat, and taken away in a prison van.
Hundreds of BJP supporters from across West Bengal arrived in Kolkata and neighbouring Howrah this morning to take part in the ‘Nabanna Abhijan’ or march to secretariat.
Mr Adhikari was leading the march from the Santragachi area, while BJP national vice-president Dilip Ghosh was leading the protest from north Kolkata.
Adhikari criticised the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress government, “Mamata Police is on a war footing, trying to crush a democratic political event.
BJP national vice president Dilip Ghosh said, “We have been peaceful while the police lathicharged, used water cannons and lobbed tear gas shells at the protesters. They also pelted stones. We are not here for fighting.”
The BJP had arranged seven trains — three from north Bengal and four from the south — for supporters to take part in the ‘Nabanna Abhijan’.
Buses carrying BJP workers to Kolkata were also stopped by the police in North 24 Parganas, party sources said.