Featured Image: A view of the Left Front rally at Bankura on Monday.
Kolkata, 11 September: A beleaguered Left Front today tried to prove its political existence by engaging in pitched battles with police at several places in the state, especially in the south Bengal districts.
Left Front had announced that it will hold rallies and demonstrations in all the district headquarters today demanding jobs, industrialisation, and social security for unorganised sector workers, etc. The plan was to submit memorandum to the district magistrates after the demonstration.
But at Barasat in North 24-Parganas, Tamulk in East Midnapore, and at Bankura the pre-announced agitation programme turned into clashes with the police after the latter denied Left Front delegations to meet the DMs and submit memorandum.
Hundreds of Left supporters had gathered near the DM office at Barasat and, early in the afternoon when they tried to march into the office premises, police stopped them by placing barricades. Peeved at this, the Left supporters tried to forcibly move ahead: police at once responded by resorting to indiscriminate lathi-charge.
This added fuel to fire and in retaliation, the Left supporters began hurling stones and bricks at the police. Instead of taking up a comprehensive plan to end the skirmish, police hurled back stones at the Left gathering and the exchange turned the DM office area into a battle ground.
Unable to contain the situation, the cops then fired one after another teargas shells and this made the Left workers back out.
Bankura too saw a near repeat of this, but thankfully there were no bursting of teargas shells by the police. A few thousand Left workers had gathered in the town since morning and began marching towards the DM office around noon so that their leaders could hand over a memorandum.
But police stopped the march midway. This made the Left workers to sit for a demonstration on the road itself, leading to a traffic mess. To lift the demonstrators, police suddenly resorted to a lathi-charge, taking the Left workers unwary. They ran helter-skelter to avert police action, yet several of them, including the district leaders, suffered injuries. The injured include DYFI all India general secretary Abhay Mukherjee.
Tamluk, the district headquarters of East Midnapore, was no different. Trouble began there in the afternoon when some Left workers tried to sneak into the DM office by toppling the police barricade. This resulted in a commotion with the police, during which a senior officer fell into a drain.
Police then took to a lathi-charge on the group and to counter this, other Left supporters demonstration at some distance started hurling stone and bricks at the cops. The cops subsequently launched a massive lathi-charge at the demonstration site, making them disperse.
Left Front has called for protests in all over the state tomorrow against the police action on their workers at Barasat, Tamluk, and Bankura today.