West Bengal: Over 100 CPIM Activists Injured After Police Lathicharge on a Law Violation Programme
Over 100 Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI(M)) activists were injured after police opened lathicharge on unarmed protesters in Burdwan town of West Bengal. The police also arrested around 50 protesters who were charged with non-bailable offences.
The incident happened in a law violation programme called by CPI(M) to protest recruitment scams and alleged corruption of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) government. Various district units of CPIM have been observing similar law violation programmes in the past few weeks to protest against the SSC recruitment scam and the coal smuggling case involving senior TMC leaders.
The clashes with police happened in the Kurzon gate area of the city where the event was held. The police used water cannons, tear gas shells and lathicharge on the protesters to break the protest.
Despite that, the protest carried on for over two hours which saw the protesters tearing down emblems of Biswa Bangla, a brand promoted by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
CPI(M) state secretary MD Salim, reacting to the excessive use of force by the police, said that all protocols were put aside while lathicharging the protesters.
"The conventional legal step of magistrate announcement of lathicharge was not made," Salim said.
He further alleged that the police acted with a pre-determined intention which could be seen in how they hadn't positioned themselves before the march but remained at the fag end.
"Police in the state now protect the thieves and help illegal smuggling. Even elderly and women were not spared by the blue and were beaten blue and black," Salim alleged. He also questioned why the police arrested CPI(M) central committee member Abhas Raychoudhry.
"The government doesn't understand the mentality of the people. They can't decimate CPI(M) by using tear gas. Today, we have urged our workers not to fall prey to provocation. They resisted only after being attacked. This mentality of our comrades is praiseworthy."
Earlier in the day, a huge rally participated by thousands of people was held at the Boro Nilpukar area of Burdwan town. It was attended by Salim, CPI(M) Burdwan district secretary Saiyad Hossain, and Roychoduhry, amongst others. After the rally, the march towards Kurzon began.
Speaking at the rally, Salim alleged that both the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and TMC have leaders who have amassed huge amounts of illegal money.
"Leader of Opposition in Assembly, Shubhendy Adhikary, while in TMC, used the Contai Cooperative Bank to change black money into white. Action must be taken against both BJP and TMC leaders involved in multiple scams," Salim said.
He also highlighted that the law violation programme was also held to remember the mass movement martyrs of 1959, where 80 people were lathicharged to death by then CM Bdidhan Roy.
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