Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers on Monday clashed with the West Bengal police in north Bengal’s Siliguri, as they were stopped from moving past barricades at two points near branch secretariat ‘Uttarkanya’ during their rally in protest against TMC dispensation’s “misrule”.
Clashes erupted between the BJP cadres and police during their Uttarkanya Abhiyaan–march to the north Bengal secretariat. The police stopped BJP cadres from advancing towards the north Bengal secretariat stating CrPc 144 is imposed around it. As BJP cadres advanced towards Uttarkanya, they breached the barricades. Police used water cannons and tear gas shells to stop them.
The activists, as part of the ‘Uttarkanya Abhijan’ called by Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), took out two protest marches, alleging that the state government has not fulfilled the promises made to the people of north Bengal, and benefits of the welfare schemes launched by the ruling dispensation have failed to reach the common man.
The police used water cannons and burst tear gas shells to stop the BJP workers from moving ahead, and were pelted with stones by the protesters in return. Some activists had even set fire to the bamboo barricades set up in the area.
The party’s state president, Dilip Ghosh, who led a rally to Fulbari Bazar — one of the two approach points to the secretariat — said the government was “using coercion” as it was scared of BJP’s rise in Bengal, according to news agency PTI. Ghosh accused the local administration of setting up “a virtual island in Siliguri town by putting up multiple barricades in places to foil a democratic movement”, added PTI.
A second rally, led by party national secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya and BJYM national unit president Tejaswi Surya, broke the first two layers of the police cordon near Tinbatti More — about 1 km from Uttarkanya — but could not get past the third, reported PTI.
According to PTI quoting BJP sources, Vijayvargiya and Surya had to be escorted to their vehicles by their personal security guards.