Kolkata witnesses pitched battles between BJP workers and police, PCR van torched

The streets of Kolkata turned into a virtual battlefield on Tuesday afternoon as BJP activists, marching to the West Bengal Secretariat to protest 'corruption' issues, clashed with the police

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IANS

The streets of Kolkata turned into a virtual battlefield on Tuesday afternoon as BJP activists, marching to the West Bengal Secretariat to protest 'corruption' issues, clashed with the police.

A police vehicle was torched, while a BJP councillor of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation, an Assistant Commissioner of Police and several others, including BJP supporters and police personnel, were injured.

At around 3 pm, a group of BJP supporters led by the party's national vice president Dilip Ghosh and the state general secretary Jagannath Chattopadhyay started moving towards the state secretariat, Nabanna from its state headquarters at Muralidhar Sen Lane.

As they reached central Kolkata, they came to know that Leader of Opposition in Assembly, Suvendu Adhikari had been arrested and taken to the Kolkata Police headquarters at Lalbazar. At this, a section of BJP supporters led by Chattopadhyay started marching towards the police headquarters and were able to reach its gates after breaking through the barricades.

Although the police were initially pushed back, soon a huge contingent of security personnel, led by senior officials of Kolkata Police, stopped the BJP supporters, following which clashes broke out there.

Violence also spread to the adjacent Mahatma Gandhi Road, where a police PCR van was allegedly set on fire by BJP supporters.

An ACP and BJP councillor Meena Devi Purohit, along with several others, were injured.

Mahatma Gandhi Road, being a trading hub, has a number of shops, with many storing inflammable items. The burning PCR van created panic in the locality and the traders quickly pulled down the shutters of their shops. However, the fire tenders quickly rushed to the spot and extinguished the fire before it could spread further.

A police kiosk there was also vandalised by the BJP supporters.

However, BJP state president Sukanta Majumdar alleged that the PCR van was set on fire by the police only and blame put on his party's supporters. Senior city officials rubbished his claims.

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