A protest rally organised by the youth wing of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) outside Nabanna, the West Bengal Secretariat, in Howrah district turned violent when protesters tried to break police barricades and forces retaliated with lathi charge and tear gas.
“Police is lathi charging our people. Stone-pelting is being done from the Khidirpur side. Can’t the police see that?,” BJP leader Locket Chatterjee said.
The BJP’s ‘Nabanna Chalo’ agitation is a protest against the alleged killing of party workers in West Bengal under the Mamata Banerjee-led government.
Security officials were stationed in large numbers outside the BJP state headquarters on Thursday morning. State police used a drone to keep a vigil on the protesting BJP workers.
“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 leader Kailash Vijayvargiya said.
BJP’s Kailash Vijayvargiya, on being asked whether party workers were wearing masks as precaution against Covid-19, said that all workers were wearing masks, but do the same rules not apply to Mamata Banerjee when she holds demonstrations?
“All workers are wearing masks. Are rules only for us? Mamata Ji holds demonstrations with thousands, & we’re being taught lessons of social distancing. Do same rules not apply to her?,” he said.
Meanwhile, the state government had announced on Wednesday evening that all the offices in the building will be shut for two days (Thursday and Friday) “for sanitisation purpose”.