Police baton charge BJP activists, JU students in Kolkata
Kolkata: Police resorted to a baton charge on BJP activists and students of Jadavpur University (JU) who had come face to face leading protest rallies in south Kolkata’s Sulekha crossing.
Some students and BJP workers were injured in the baton charge.
There was much tension in the area as three rallies taken out by the BJP, the JU students and the CPI-M came tantalisingly close to each other in the area – a stone’s throw from the university.
The BJP had taken out a rally from Bagha Jatin accusing the Leftist students of Jadavpur University of vandalising one of its offices and torching the party flag.
According to BJP leaders, the vandalism happened around Sunday-Monday midnight when the JU students had taken out a procession condemning the violence at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi.
“They committed indecent acts on our flag and proudly made it viral on social media by going live on Facebook,” said BJP leader Anupam Hazra, who announced the rallyists would go to the Jadavpur police station crossing the JU and submit a deputation seeking arrest of the perpetrators of the vandalism.
The JU students, numbering several hundred, came out from their campus and wanted to march to Sulelha crossing and shouted slogan pledging to stop the BJP procession at 8B bus stand close to the university main building.
In the meantime, a CPI-M torchlight procession decrying the violence at JNU and backing the January 8 general strike called by the central trade unions also reached the area.
All three groups started shouting slogans, as the large number of police personnel doing duty in the area barricaded the protestors by putting up guard rails.
Temperatures soared as BJP activists burnt a red flag while the students tore a BJP flag.
The tension increased further as some JU students scuffled with a BJP activist, alleging he had asked them to go to Pakistan.
Realising the situation was getting out of hand, the police started miking and ordered the groups to disperse.
But when their pleas failed, the security forces resorted to the baton charge and dispersed the protestors.
The JU students claimed four of their comrades were injured.
A senior police officer later apologised saying there was no intention on the part of the security forces to injure anybody.