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4 Arrested for Violence During Saffron Rally; BJP Claims Bengal ‘Lawless’ Under Mamata

The accused have been booked under sections dealing with attempt to murder, destruction of government property and preventing public servant from performing duty.

Image Courtesy: PTI

A day after the crackdown on protesting Bharatiya Janata Party workers in West Bengal, at least four people were arrested for allegedly assaulting a police officer and setting a police vehicle on fire in Kolkata during the rally, the PTI reported.

The arrests were made during night-long raids in Beliaghata, Topsia and Bowbazar areas, an official said.

Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Debajit Chattopadhyay was chased and assaulted with sticks by some people in the Bowbazar area during the BJP's 'March to Nabanna' rally on Tuesday. Chattopadhyay suffered multiple fractures and is at present undergoing treatment at a hospital, he informed. A police vehicle was also torched near the Kolkata Police headquarters in Lalbazar.

The raids were ongoing, an officer of Kolkata Police told PTI on Wednesday afternoon. The four arrested persons were identified from video clips of the two incidents, he said. They have been booked under sections dealing with attempt to murder, destruction of government property and preventing public servant from performing duty.

Parts of Kolkata and Howrah district turned into a battlefield on Tuesday as BJP supporters clashed with the police while trying to get past barricades erected to prevent them from marching towards the West Bengal secretariat 'Nabanna'.

BJP's national vice-president Dilip Ghosh claimed that the attacks were the handwork of TMC supporters who got into the rally.

The party also slammed the ruling Trinamool Congress government saying the state has become "lawless" and "bankrupt" under Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and accused her of inflicting "police torture" on BJP members to suppress their voice.

Former Union minister and BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad criticised Banerjee, saying she spoke of saving democracy outside the state while crossing all limits to curb people's democratic and civil rights inside West Bengal. "Under Mamata Banerjee West Bengal has become a lawless and bankrupt state," he said.

She has now left the Left behind in inflicting atrocities and brutalities on the BJP, Prasad claimed, asserting that the TMC cannot stop his party's march in the state.

The BJP had launched the protest march against the Trinamool Congress' alleged corrupt practices.

CM Banerjee on Wednesday said police could have opened fire on “violent” BJP protesters during its march to the state secretariat, but the government exercised “maximum” restraint.

Banerjee also alleged that the saffron party brought in goons armed with bombs in trains from outside the state to foment trouble during its ‘Nabanna Abhijan’ on Tuesday.

"Many police personnel were brutally attacked by the participants of that rally... Police could have opened fire, but our administration showed maximum restraint," she said during an administrative meeting at Nimtouri in Purba Medinipur district.

(With inputs from PTI)

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