The West Bengal government decided to respond to a ‘Nabanno Chalo’ protest by the youth wing of the BJP over the deteriorating law and order situation and continued attack and murder of BJP leaders on Thursday by cracking down even harder on the karyakartas of the BJP during the rally. Images circulating on social media reveal that the BJP karyakartas were lathi-charged, tear gas were hurled at them and the karyakartas were attacked with even country-made bombs.
West Bengal: Police use water cannon & lathi-charge to disperse BJP workers during a protest at Hastings in Kolkata.— ANI (@ANI) October 8, 2020
BJP has launched a state-wide ‘Nabanna Chalo’ agitation march today to protest against the alleged killing of its party workers. pic.twitter.com/T2om4xUxlq
Tejasvi Surya, a Member of Parliament from Karnataka attending the Nabanno Chalo protest, said on social media that ‘TMC goons’ hurled country-made bombs at them from rooftops. Adding that water cannons and lathi-charge were also used against them, he declared that the “tyrant’s time is coming to an end”.
This is what fascism looks like!— Tejasvi Surya (@Tejasvi_Surya) October 8, 2020
Country bombs hurled at our rally by TMC goons from rooftops.
Tear gas and water canons launched against a peaceful march.
The tyrant’s time is coming to an end.#NabannoCholo pic.twitter.com/HngQL7q4K8
Y. Satya Kumar, national secretary of the BJP, said that the protesting karyakartas were subjected to ‘chemical liquid attacks’ as well.
‘Democracy’ is fighting for its life in Bengal.— Y. Satya Kumar (@satyakumar_y) October 8, 2020
TMC goons & Bengal police are resorting to all dirty methods to stop BJYM karyakartas
– Chemical liquid attacks
– Misuse of police to sabotage
– Police fires tear gas shells
– Country made bombs are thrown #NabannoCholo pic.twitter.com/swBmWrEzrP
Others associated with the party also said that toxic chemicals were used against the BJP karyakartas. It is also claimed that several karyakartas have been hospitalised due to the chemical attack.
This is what West Bengal looks like under @MamataOfficial . Toxic chemical sprayed on @BJP4Bengal karyakartas to stop their peaceful protest. Several karyakartas hospitalised due to severe reaction to the chemical. #NobannaCholo pic.twitter.com/lZbk9Ky6KA— Neha Joshi (@The_NehaJoshi) October 8, 2020
Disturbing images of the attack on the BJP karyakartas at the ‘Nabanna Chalo’ rally are doing the rounds on social media.
Lathicharge happens in Bengal also. BJP workers today after clashes with the cops. pic.twitter.com/xHPfpPbPTi— Deep Halder (@deepscribble) October 8, 2020
Responding to questions on how responsible it was to hold such a rally during a pandemic, BJP Bengal-in-Charge Kailash Vijayvargiya said, “All workers are wearing masks. Are rules only for us? Mamata Ji holds demonstrations with thousands and we’re being taught lessons of social distancing. Do same rules not apply to her?”
The ‘Nabanno Chalo’ Protest
After the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) announced a protest outside the state secretariat Nabanna today, the state government decided to shut down the secretariat for two days. The government also cited the Supreme Court order yesterday on Shaheen Bagh protest justifying preventing the protest rally from taking place.
The state govt cited the SC order of Shaheen Bagh protests delivered yesterday, where the apex court had ruled that public places can’t be occupied indefinitely for protests. Although the court order was against the long-time occupation of a public place for protests, which happened in Shaheen Bagh where a vital road was blocked for several months, the West Bengal govt used that order to prevent the protest from taking place.