BJP’s protest rally: party workers clash with police, several held

They were protesting the fake vaccine racket busted in Kolkata recently.

The Bharatiya Janata Party’s protest rally outside the Kolkata Municipal Corporation’s main office on SN Banerjee Road took place between at around 2 pm on Monday, with several party workers clashing with the police. Several BJP workers and leaders were held. Nearly 50 BJP workers were held by the police.

The march was led by the party’s state chief Dilip Ghosh. Bengal’s Opposition party protested the fake vaccine racket that was busted recently. The BJP changed its route planned earlier, and moved through Central Avenue, where many leaders and party workers were held by the police, including the women’s wing chief Agnimitra Paul. Another party leader, Sayantan Basu was also held by the police.

A party worker fell on the road during a scuffle and was apparently unconscious for some time. Some workers tried to break police barricades, some decided to lie on the road and several BJP workers went into scuffle with the police. Traffic was held up for some time, but was later cleared by the police.

The BJP did not have police permission to hold the gathering due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation. However, the party leaders decided to go ahead with the plan. Initially, the party leaders had felt that they would not seek permission as it was understood that a permission would not be given in the current COVID-19 situation as rallies and gatherings are banned now. But the party then decided to move an official permission stating that a protest meet would be organised following the protocols. But no permission was given.

The BJP had gone ahead and planned the protest, saying the “police authorities can stop us if they want”. This had led to apprehensions that there may be trouble in central Kolkata.