Featured Image: A Left worker injured in police lathi-charge at Mayo Road in Kolkata on Monday.
Kolkata, 22 May: PARTS of central Kolkata and Howrah are witnessing massive clash between police and workers of the Left parties.
Eleven Left parties had called for a march to state secretariat Nabanna in Howrah today afternoon over 18 points charter of demands that include arrears payment of dearness allowance to state government employees and increasing the minimum support price for paddy and other cash crops.
Police put up several fabricated barricades on all roads leading to Nabanna both from Kolkata and Howrah end and around 2,000 cops were deployed to stop the marchers. Trouble began around 2.30 pm when Left workers tried to move ahead by toppling the barricades.
To disperse Left workers police resorted to an indiscriminate lathi-charge at Hastings More and Mayo Road in Kolkata, and Shibpur and Betor in Howrah. Even women and elderly Left workers were also not speared. In retaliation, Left workers started pelting stones at the lathi-wielding police. The cops then fired tear gas shells and water cannon on the Left workers.
Though neither police nor Left leadership are able to state the exact number of workers injured in the police action, the figure is estimated to cross 50. Most of them have suffered blunt injuries in the head, arms and legs, and are admitted to different hospitals in Kolkata and Howrah.
Some police personnel too have been injured but the number would not cross 10. They have suffered injuries by the stones pelted by Left workers. At the time of filing this report, the clash is still on and Left workers are holding their grounds.
Earlier in the day, some 22 Left MLAs drove straight to Nabanna and tried to enter the secretariat building when police stopped them. After a brief scuffle, they were arrested by police and have now been kept at Shibpur police station in Howrah.
They include Sujan Chakraborty, Ashok Bhattacharya, Tanmay Bhattacharjee, Manas Majumdar and others. CPI-M MP Md Salim has also been arrested from Khidderpore.
CPI-M state secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra and Left Front chairman Biman Bose have condemned the police atrocities on the Left workers and said that the fight against Mamata Banerjee’s autocratic government would continue.