Kolkata: Overnight, the Dorina Crossing of Kolkata turned into Ghazipur border as police drilled barriers besides putting up heavy metal barricades to thwart a protest march called by Left youth and students organisations today.
The march towards Nabanna (state secretariat) was called in demand for education and jobs were brutally lathicharged leaving scores of protesters injured. Later, the police also resorted to water cannons and fired tear gas shells, some of the shells were outdated, sources say.
Condemning the police action Left Front along with other left allies, Congress and Indian Secular Front (ISF) have called 12-hour state wide ‘general strike’. The strike will start from 6 am in the morning.
The lathi charge took place when a massive march started from College Street reached SN Banerjee Road in the Esplanade area. Not only the road was blocked at the Dorina Crossing but the adjacent arterial roads were also blocked. All of a sudden, without slightest provocation the police started spraying water from cannons. It is alleged by the marchers that the water was mixed with bleaching powder. It was followed by brutal lathicharge which was used indiscriminately. Tear gas shells were also launched to disperse the crowd. Many were seriously injured. Among the injured were SFI leader Dipsita Dhar and DYFI state secretary Sayandip Mitra.
Later in the afternoon, CPIM Polit Bureau Member Md Salim in a press conference strongly condemned the police action. He said, the area was barricaded like ‘Jallianwala Bagh’. This has been done in a planned manner. He also said this barbarism is unprecedented.
Pirzada Md Abbas Siddiqui who launched Indian Secular Front recently termed it as a ‘black day’ in the democratic history of West Bengal. He unabashedly condemned this brutality and extended solidarity towards the general strike tomorrow.
Earlier, Ibrahim Ali, a CPIM) legislator was arrested for trying to lead a deputation straight to the Chief Minister in Nabanna.