The Kolkata Police on Wednesday used water cannons to disperse agitating Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) supporters who had planned to gherao Kolkata Municipal Corporation over rising cases of dengue in the city. The supporters were also lathicharged and as many as 37 of them were arrested during the clash.
Organised by the BJP Yuva Morcha, the agitation was led by Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh.
BJP workers protest near Kolkata Municipal Corporation office demanding a 'dengue free' Kolkata among other demands. Police use water cannons to disperse protesters. pic.twitter.com/Lc4xulfDEB
— ANI (@ANI) November 13, 2019
"From the past four years, the number of people affected by dengue across the state has increased. We will fight for the common man. Mamata Banerjee has done nothing to curb it. We will not sit quiet," a protesting BJP worker told news agency ANI.
Police had set up barricades on the Central Avenue and informed the BJP supporters that they cannot advance towards the KMC building as section 144 of the CrPC has been imposed around the building.
Despite the police warning that breaking of the barricades would lead to police action, some agitated protesters also tried to break and jump the barricades at the protest site in Central Kolkata.
The BJP supporters alleged that their party supporters were lathicharged by the police too.
"It was a peaceful protest against the rising cases of dengue. Police used force on us. They used water canons and lathicharged us. Instead of doing these, they should make efforts to eradicate dengue from the city. Dengue will not spare the family members of policemen," BJP leader Raju Banerjee said.
Several BJP supporters were injured when police used water canons. The arrests were made for violating the law and breaking the barricades.
"We had prior permission to hold a protest and the protest was peaceful. Male police personnel manhandled us," BJP leader Rimjhim Mitra told ANI.
The agitation was to also to demand an electrical wire-free city, illegal parking-free city and water tax-free city besides others.
(With ANI inputs)