Kolkata: Parts of central Kolkata turned into a virtual battlefield on Thursday following clashes between the protesters and the police during a rally by CPI(M)’s youth and student wings demanding immediate filling up of 29,000 vacant posts in the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC).
The protesters assembled at College Square on Thursday afternoon and started marching towards the KMC building near New Market in the heart of the city.
The rally was peaceful till it reached near Esplanade, where the police had raised barricades to stop the protesters from reaching the main gate of the KMC building.
However, the protesters brought down the barricade which lead to a scuffle between the agitators and the police. After some time, those leading the protest march staged a sit-in demonstration, but were stopped by the police.
Minakshi Mukherjee, the state secretary of Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI), CPI(M)’s youth wing, said the police were acting like hooligans while beating up the protesters.
“Our programme was announced before and we had also informed the police in advance. At the end of the rally, a delegation was supposed to go to the KMC building and submit a list of demands. But the police did not even allow us to reach the KMC building gate,” she said.
Later, senior CPI(M) leader Sujan Chakraborty reached the spot and said the police attack on a peaceful rally was unthinkable.
“The youth of the state want jobs and the current state government is using the police to suppress any voice raising that demand. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is trying to mislead the people by cooking up stories of job creation in the state. But the youth and students of the state will not remain silent and their protest will continue,” he said.
On Tuesday, the city witnessed similar pitched battles between the police and BJP workers over the latter’s march to state secretariat Nabanna.
The BJP went ahead with the rally despite being denied permission by the police. Several BJP workers and police personnel were injured following clashes between the two sides.