KOLKATA: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) called off their bike rally in West Bengal alleging they were attacked by Trinamool Congress workers in several areas across Kolkata. The event was organised to mark the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda on the National Youth Day today.
As per a report, clashes between the BJP and the TMC was first reported from Pathuriaghata Street in North Kolkata. The BJP has alleged that many of its party workers have been left injured in the attack. The Trinamool, on the other hand, reportedly claimed that the BJP workers passed lewd comments to women on the street. It further alleged that BJP workers also attacked passers-by and vadalised vehicles parked roadside. Tension soon spread to Central Avenue and on Red Road. Workers of both parties allegedly clashed and even pelted stones at each other.
The police force was rushed to the spot to control the situation.
Notably, the Mamata Banerjee-ruled West Bengal government had earlier rejected the state police administration on Monday. However, on Wednesday, the Calcutta High Court rejected the Bengal government's objections to the event and allowed permission for a motorbike rally by BJP's youth wing in the state. The court had also observed that the state should not discriminate in granting permission
The court directed that the rally would move in an orderly fashion and the organisers would inform the administration at least half an hour before reaching any place to ensure proper traffic management and abide by all just directions of the authorities. On Thursday, the court had appointed two special officers to ensure law and order is maintained during the bike rally.
The Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) motorbike rally named 'Pratirodh Sankalpa Abhiyan' to mark Swami Vivekananda's birth anniversary was scheduled to be held from January 12-18 and would travel from Contai in East Midnapore district to Coochbehar in the north.
After the court's ruling, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had warned that the BJP would be responsible for any untoward incident that may take place during the Gangasagar Mela. "If there is any trouble at Gangasagar, the annual Hindu pilgrimage in Bengal, you will be responsible, you who are doing all kinds of conspiracies," Banerjee said without naming the BJP. "Thirty lakh people have come for the event, but they want to indulge in mischief and conspiracies against Bengal."