Kolkata: The BJP Yuva Morcha supporters, part of a 8-day bike rally, were allegedly attacked by Trinamool Congress supporters as the two-wheelers were making their way from the BJP party office on Central Avenue to Swami Vivekananda's house in Hedua on Friday.
The incident occurred around 11:15 am leaving 14 BJP supporters injured. No arrests have been made so far. The TMC, however, has denied the allegations.
TMC leader Partha Chatterjee said, ”The Government will comply with the decision of the High Court, but it is the duty of the organisers to keep the peace. Their only job is to be a success with the media.”
On Wednesday, a single judge Bench of the Calcutta High Court allowed the BJP's Yuva Morcha to take out an 8-day two-wheeler rally in the state. The bike rally, which was earlier not granted Police permission, won the fight in the Calcutta High Court.
The State Government had appealed to the division bench on Thursday challenging the earlier single bench order to allow the week-long BJP bike rally.
The rally started from the Digha sea coast in East Midnapore district of Bengal on Thursday and will travel to Cooch Behar in North Bengal on 18 January covering several districts en route.
The rally, termed as ‘Pratirodh Sankalp Abhigyan’, is aimed to spread the message on atrocities in Bengal in recent times.
The stopover in Kolkata on Friday coincided with the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda with the BJP bike rally setting out to Swami Vivekananda’s ancestral house.
Meanwhile, TMC leader Abhishek Banerjee and his supporters also made their way to pay homage to Swami Vivekananda at the same venue in the afternoon.
BJP alleges their workers were attacked on Friday morning at Binani Bhavan in Girish Park where the Yuva Morcha bikers had put up the previous night. The bikers were setting out to the BJP party office when they were allegedly attacked by TMC supporters. The second round of attacks took place barely a kilometer away from the BJP party office.
High Court observer Ravi Shankar Dutta, who was delegated to track the developments of the bike rally, was also attacked. While upholding Wednesday’s single bench order, the division bench also mandated that two special officers should monitor the rally and keep the court informed.
Dutta’s car was smashed with rods and bricks say his driver and other passengers travelling with him. They kept pleading that he did not belong to any political party, but their pleas went unheard. An injured Dutta made his way to the Calcutta High Court to report the matter.
BJP Leader Dilip Ghosh vowed to fight back with protests in the hours to come. The protests started with a sit-in demonstration in the afternoon at Gandhi statue before Dilip Ghosh and other BJP leaders proceeded to meet the Governor KN Tripathi and apprise him of the situation.
“When the court observer was attacked, what security do we have? We will protest in front of several police stations tomorrow to reflect Police inaction in controlling the violence. We are truncating the bike rally at the moment as Police are not able to control the rally.”
The BJP is not taking things lying down. The fight between the BJP and TMC is set to intensify even as the Calcutta High Court division bench including Acting Chief Justice has said that the bike rally can resume its journey after two days. The rally restarts on January 15.