Howrah: Several Leftist student and youth activists have been injured after police unleashed force on them as they tried to march towards Bengal state secretariat Nabanna over demands like unemployment allowance.
One policeman and a woman TV journalist have also been injured. None of the injured are critical.
This has happened today 13 September at Mullick Fatak area in Howrah. CPI-M has called for a state-wide protest tomorrow against the police action.
Congress state president Somen Mitra has said that if CPI-M approaches, Congress workers will also join in the protest.
As many as 11 Leftist student and youth wings led by CPI-M’s SFI and DYFI had set out on a Singur to Nabanna march demanding employment, industries, unemployment allowance, and education at affordable cost.
The march started from Singur in Hooghly yesterday 12 September and halted for the night at Dankuni, not very far from Howrah. Around 1 pm today, the marchers assembled near the Howrah Rail Museum and began marching towards Nabanna from 2 pm.
To stop them, the police put up barricades at Mullick Fatak and kept a large number of combat force personnel and water cannons on standby.
As soon as the marchers reached near the barricade, police asked them to make a retreat. Peeved at this, a section from the Left marchers started hurling water bottles at the cops.
The police retaliated by resorting to an indiscriminate lathi-charge. This made the Left cadres run for cover in nearby lanes and by-lanes. A little later, they tried to resume the march through other routes and hurled brickbats at the police.
This time the police fired water cannons and then teargas shells. The Left activists have alleged that Trinamool cadres also hurled brickbats on them from the terrace of the houses located on either side of the road.
The police action left several Left cadres injured: some were bleeding from the head and arms, while a few have suffered a fracture in their limbs. Fellow activists admitted them to hospitals in Howrah and Kolkata.
Issuing a statement, Left Front chairman Biman Bose has said that the extent of force that the police unleashed on the youths is unthinkable. He said that the students and youths have all the right to demand affordable education and employment.
CPI-M politburo member Md Salim later told a news conference: “What police have done today is sheer hooliganism. This has not happened in the past 50 years. We appeal everyone to join the state-wide protest against this tomorrow.