Once a red citadel, Burdwan today witnessed a turbulent Marxist maneuvering this evening when the cadres, in the presence of the CPM state secretary, attacked policemen leaving the cops helpless during the party’s law-breaking movement.
At least 10 policemen, including a deputy superintendent suffered injuries as the protesters rained stones at policemen placed at iconic Curzon Gate Crossing here to cease CPM’s march to the district’s administrative corridor.
The SP, East Burdwan, Kamanashis Sen said, “The rally participants suddenly erupted and started pelting stones at policemen, on the other side of the barricades.”
As many as 100 CPM cadres were also injured after the police resorted to indiscriminate lathi charge. “It was a peaceful protest rally to commemorate 84 martyrs of 1959’s famous Food Movement. The police attacked our cadres, unprovoked. They first charged batons ruthlessly and then lobbed tear-gas shells zigzag in the name of dispersion, which led to pandemonium,” said Mohammed Selim, CPM’s state secretary. He added, “The police, as it seems, was fully prepared to unleash an attack on us. There’s no police van, instead, they had multi-layered barricades and the cops wearing helmets, pounced upon our men with a motive to cause physical assault.”
Around 4:35 pm, the cadres matching towards the district administrative corridor in two groups from Railway Station and Nilpur Point arrived at the Curzon Gate complex. The area was covered by guardrails, 10 walls of steel sheets and two bamboo barricades. The police received a tip-off that a good number of around 5,000 cadres, led by Selim marching towards the Curzon Gate, were equipped with stones and bricks in their bags. Within minutes, brickbats started.
Trouble began when a section of cadres started dismantling the Biswa Bangla symbol placed in front of Curzon Gate and destroyed a public assistance booth of the MLA, Bardhaman (Dakshin). Police used water cannons, besides, unleashing lathi charge and firing the tear-gas shells. The police arrested nearly 60 CPM cadres among those at least a dozen were women cadres.