14 May 2019
Kolkata: Trinamool Congress Chhatra Parishad activists allegedly hurled stones at BJP President Amit Shah's roadshow here on Tuesday, triggering clashes in which three motorbikes were set ablaze in the College Street area and many sustained injuries.
Shah later accused the Trinamool of violence.
"There were disturbances in two places during my rally here as the Trinamool supporters tried to create violence and threw stones and bricks at us," he said.
The TMCP activists had positioned themselves outside the gates of Calcutta University carrying black flags and posters, long before Shah's road show reached the spot.
As the rally was passing the area, they shouted slogans, showed him black flag and allegedly threw stones and bricks targeting the rally.
The BJP supporters, on the other hand, also allegedly threw bricks at the university students and raised counter slogans.
In a bid to outwit the agitators, the saffron party supporters played music in full volume and also held up the big cut-outs, festoons on the roadside to overshadow the black flags.
The moment Shah passed the spot, both the parties broke the police barricade and started flinging chairs and guard-rails at each other.
Moments later, another clash broke out between the two groups in front of the Vidyasagar College which spilled within the campus.
Three two-wheelers were set afire in front of the college.
After allegedly being provoked by the Trinamool student's union member, BJP supporters threw stones, iron rods and ransacked the reception counters of the college.
A bust of Iswarchandra Vidyasagar was allegedly vandalised by the saffron brigade.
"We were peacefully protesting against the BJP from inside the campus. All of a sudden, they pelted stones and jumped the boundary wall of the college and attacked us. Many of us have been injured," an injured student said.
The police resorted to baton charge to disperse the mob.
Condemning the incident, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee accused the BJP of fomenting violence and said police should not have given permission for Shah's roadshow.
"We are ashamed that Vidysagar's bust was vandalised. Do (BJP) they know who Vidyasagar was? Why did police allow the roadshow? They are trying to create unrest and stoke fire in Bengal. I will not spare anyone if Bengal's heritage is destroyed," Banerjee said, directing state Education Minister Partha Chatterjee to rush to the spot.
BJP state chief Dilip Ghosh claimed the road show was successful despite all efforts of the Trinamool to disrupt it.
"Kolkata's people today showed that they are with the BJP. Shah's roadshow was attacked in a bid to stop it. But the roadshow was successful."