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Left Workers Clash with Police in Kolkata Over Farmer Distress

The Left activists tried to break police cordons at different points including Mayo Road, Duffrin road & Hastings.

Updated
India
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Left workers clashed with police during their 'march to Nabanna' (state secretariat) programme on Monday, prompting security personnel to use water cannons, batons and tear gas to disperse them.

The protest was to demand a fair price for farmer’s produce and for maintaining communal harmony. They also demanded the maintaining of democratic rights of people of West Bengal and that food security could not be curtailed.

The Left activists tried to break police cordons at different points including Mayo Road, Duffrin road, Hastings and Santragachi.

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Meanwhile, at least 12 CPI-M leaders, including three MLAs – Sujan Chakraborty, Ashok Bhattacharya and Tanmay Bhattacharjee – were detained when they tried to enter the state secretariat ahead of the 'March to Nabanna' programme.

The Left leaders were in three cars and managed to cross the security cordons. The police, however, recognised them at the north gate of the secretariat and a scuffle took place between them followed.

Twenty of our MLAs reached the gate of Nabanna (Secretariat building) to protest against the issues of unemployment, farmers’ distress, and other issues. But the police did not let us in. They forcefully stopped us and later put us in police vans. They are not disclosing whether we are in police custody or not
Sujan Chakraborty

The leaders were then detained and taken to Shibpur police station in Howrah.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was not present at the secretariat as she was in Birbhum district for an administrative meeting.

The Chief Minister has fled from the city. Is she not bothered about the plight of the farmers here? She has turned the state into a prison
Sujan Chakraborty
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At least 11 peasants' wings of the Left Front in the state are scheduled to hold the "march to Nabanna" rally' in five different parts of the city.

Left Front chairman Biman Bose claimed the MLAs were arrested and demanded their unconditional release.

They have been arrested and are being taken to Alipore Court. We condemn their arrest and demand their unconditional release.

However, the police have not confirmed the arrests.

The Secretariat has been converted into a virtual fortress, with all entry points blocked alongside deployment of a large police force.

Plainclothes policemen are also on duty to thwart any untoward incident.

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Kolkata Police Rues Assault on Scribes

The Kolkata police expressed its regret for brutal assault on journalists covering the Left parties' protest march to the state secretariat against the West Bengal government policies.

Several journalists and lens men, belonging to both the local and national media, were beaten up twice by police officials near Mayo road in front of the Kolkata Press Club.

They were kicked and poked with batons. Even women journalists were not spared and were abused by the police personnel on duty.

"We have received complaints and reports of a few journalists being beaten up and abused. We are extremely sorry for the incident and express our regret. The incident was undesirable. Those who have suffered injury, we wish them a speedy recovery," said Joint Police Commissioner (HQ) Supratim Sarkar.

Sarkar said that the force was ordered to "maintain restraint" while dealing with the media persons and promised to investigate the assault.

(With inputs from ANI, PTI, IANS)

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Topics:  Mamata Banerjee   Kolkata   farmers 

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