The Bharatiya Janata Party’s protest march to the Kolkata Police headquarters in the city’s Lalbazar area turned violent on Wednesday as the party workers clashed with the police, IANS reported. The police used water cannons and baton-charged the demonstrators when they tried to break barricades at Central Avenue and threw stones and bricks at the police, according to Anandabazar Patrika. BJP leader Raju Bandyopadhyay reportedly fell ill during the rally.
The march began around noon at Subodh Mullick Square in Central Kolkata and moved towards Lalbazar from different directions. According to ABP Ananda, Rapid Action Police personnel have been deployed and drones are being used to keep a tab on protestors. “Barricades have been put up at all the important junctures across the nine possible entry points to Lalbazar,” said a senior officer. Lalbazar has been turned into a fortress, with a three-ring security cover in place, reports added.
The BJP leaders announced the protest march after at least three of its leaders were killed in violence in Sandeshkhali in North 24 Parganas district last week. Following a scuffle between BJP workers and the state police, the Centre sent an advisory to the West Bengal government, expressing deep concern over the state of affairs. The BJP observed a “black day” across the state on Monday to protest the killings of its workers. The party also declared a 12-hour bandh in Basirhat.