The West Bengal police on Thursday used water canons, tear gas and lathicharged BJP workers Howrah’s Santragachi during the ‘Nabanno Chalo’ march to the state secretariat.
Police sources told PTI that “clashes broke out” between West Bengal police and BJP workers during the march towards state secretariat. The news agency said that the
BJP leaders blamed Mamata Banerjee for violence during the march.
The march, by the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, was supposed to be led by BJP MP Tejasvi Surya. BJP leaders Kailash Vijaywargiya and Locket Chatterjee were also present. Videos tweeted ANI showed BJP workers trying to break a barricade in front of Nabanna, the state secretariat, and police using water canons to disperse the crowds.
BJP leaders claimed that they were trying to carry out a peaceful protest, but the Mamata Banerjee government tried to turn it into a violent protest. “We are protesting democratically, but Mamata Ji has tried to turn our peaceful demonstration into a violent protest. Goons along with police pelted stones at us,” BJP’s Kailash Vijayvargiya told ANI in Kolkata
Meanwhile BJP MP Locket Chatterjee claimed stone pelting was happening from “Khidirpur side”.
Just for context, Khidirpore is across the Hooghly River and is part of Kolkata, while Nabanna is in Howrah.
The Mamata Banerjee government has shut down the state secretariat in Howrah and the old secretariat, the Writer’s Building, in Kolkata for “sanitation” work.
The BJP has claimed that this was because of the march and because Banerjee was “scared”.