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KOLKATA: The West Bengal unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) observed State-wide “Black Day” on Wednesday in protest against police excesses on its supporters at a protest march organised by the party here on Tuesday.
The BJP supporters clashed with the policemen after they were prevented from breaking barricades during the march organised in protest against price rise and deteriorating law and order situation in the State among other issues.
Brickbats and crude bombs were thrown at the police who then resorted to baton-charging and firing tear-gas shells to disperse the mob. Several BJP supporters as well as a few policemen were injured in the incident. State BJP's president Rahul Sinha was arrested with 24 other party supporters.
Meanwhile, senior leaders of both the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Trinamool Congress criticised the BJP's role in Tuesday's violence.
CPI(M) Central Committee member Mohd. Salim said that while the BJP criticised those who pelted stones at the security personnel in Kashmir earlier this year, it adopted similar tactics here on Tuesday to create chaos.
Blaming the “under-developed” condition of the State for such violent incidents, Trinamool Congress leader Partha Chatterjee said that any violent incident that causes inconvenience to common man is “uncalled for”.
The BJP supporters took out a “condemnation procession” in the city and burnt an effigy of Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee even as 22 BJP supporters were produced at a court here and remanded to five days in police custody.
Mr. Sinha said that the manner in which the BJP leaders and supporters were beaten up by the police on the dais was “unprecedented” and demanded Mr. Bhattacharjee's resignation over the incident.
“If the State Government thinks that it can throttle the Opposition's voice in this manner, they are wrong. Such tyrannical ways cannot stop us,” he added.
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