Mamata storms police station, frees TMC men

Controversy surrounded the intervention of West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee after the clash between police and youths during a religious procession.

Kolkata: Controversy surrounded the
intervention of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee after the clash
between police and youths during a religious procession, as
she came under attack from opposition CPI-M and BJP.

The fiery Trinamool leader is reported to have visited a
Kolkata police station late on Sunday evening and allegedly
forced the release of two members of her party picked up by
police after the clashes a few hours earlier.

Police on its part said it was yet to make any arrest for
Sunday`s clash at Bhowanipore between youths taking out a
procession of Goddess Jagadharti for immersion and the police
and asserted that Banerjee`s intervention was limited to
pacifying an angry mob.

According to police, the processionists turned violent,
pelted stones, ransacked the Bhowanipore police station and
even tried to set police vehicles on fire after they were
asked not to burst high decibel crackers before a hospital.

The police resorted to laticharge which worsened the
situation and the chief minister whose house in nearby and
Commissioner of Kolkata Police RK Pachnanda and other senior
officials had to intervene to pacify the mob.

"An FIR has been lodged suo moto by the police against
unknown people, but so there has been no arrest, Deputy
Commissioner of Police (South) DP Singh told PTI.

"We have identified some people who took part in the ransack, rioting and arson and are trying to find them,"
Singh said.

Asked whether there was any intervention by the chief
minister, Singh said "The investigation is on and so far there
has been no arrest. So, the question of intervention by the
chief minister to release the arrested doesn`t arise."

CPI(M) and BJP slammed the chief minister for allegedly
pressuring the police to release two persons detained by the
police for rioting "in violation of the law.

"It is reprehensible that the chief minister, who
holds the Home (Police) department, herself stormed into a
police station to force the police to release two detained
persons," CPI(M) central committee member Md Selim told
reporters here.

"The chief minister led her party workers for the
release of the detained persons who are her brother`s
associates, from the police station by force," the CPI(M)
leader alleged.

He also alleged that the chief minister, who advocated
anti-pollution steps and earlier asked the police to curb
sound pollution during the pujas, "went against rules and

State BJP president Rahul Sinha led a party delegation
to Governor MK Narayanan at the Raj Bhavan complaining that
the chief minister `pressurised` the police to release those
detained by the police.

The party sought the Governor`s intervention alleging
that the chief minister had threatened police officers if they
were not released.


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