Kolkata Police uses tear gas, water canons against BJP's protest march

The march had been organised to protest against the killing of BJP workers in Basirhat. 

Kolkata Police on Wednesday used water cannons and indiscriminately fired tear gas shells against BJP workers part of a march in protest against the killing of their party colleagues in Basirhat.

The peaceful march towards Kolkata Police's headquarters turned chaotic when the cops attempted to stop the BJP workers at Lal Bazaar. Permission for the march to the headquarters had not been granted and security had already been tightened since morning. As a result and in the ensuing struggle between the two sides, water cannons were brought in and the cops even resorted to firing tear gas shell to disperse the workers who reacted by lying down on the roads here. A number of protesting workers were forcefully picked up and put in security vehicles even as slogans of 'Jai Shri Ram' and 'Bharat Mata ki Jai' reverberated here. Five supporters of BJP Mahila Morcha were also arrested on charges of violating CrPC Section 144.

A number of top BJP leaders, including Mukul Roy and Kailash Vijayvargiya and several BJP MPs, reached the spot but they too were stopped from proceeding towards the police headquarters. All roads to and from Lal Bazaar were barricaded and Rapid Action Force was deployed - apart from at least 3,000 personnel from Kolkata Police.

The march had been organised to protest against the killing of BJP workers in Basirhat. While BJP blamed TMC for the violence and said cops in the state have been unable to halt political violence, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee had said the situation is under control.