Demonstrators angry about the BJP’s selection of candidates for some seats began throwing stones outside the BJP election office in Kolkata today, prompting police to use batons to disperse them.
According to police sources, they had to use a “mild lathi-charge” to disperse a crowd that had reportedly aimed a BJP leader as he left his Hastings office. According to the most recent reports from police sources, six people have been arrested for throwing stones.
At a press conference, BJP spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya said, “It’s improbable that BJP members turned violent. There’s a plot going on here.”
A guy with a slipper in his hand is seen hurrying to a person wearing a golf cap who is being escorted by security staff in a video of the incident. When a rock is tossed at him, he is hurriedly escorted into the building.
It’s unclear whether the stone struck him or any of the officers present.
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The police used a lathi-charge to disperse scores of BJP supporters who had collected at the building’s entrance since earlier this month.
The BJP supporters present today were from Diamond Harbour, where the party has fielded former Trinamool MLA Dipak Haldar. Mr. Haldar has only been a member of the BJP for a few weeks. Demonstrators from Joynagar, Kultali, South Habra, and Udaynarayanpur also arrived.
Hundreds of party supporters demonstrated outside the party’s election office in Kolkata all day Monday, taunting senior leaders Mukul Roy, Arjun Singh, and Shiv Prakash, in demonstrations of former Trinamool leaders being given BJP tickets.
Union Minister Amit Shah showed up unexpectedly in Kolkata late last night on his way from Guwahati to Delhi on the day of the lathi-charge and mass demonstrations. JP Nadda, the BJP’s leader, arrived late last night for a day of campaigning.
Hundreds of people jostled, shouted, and pushed aside barricades outside the BJP’s election office in Hastings, in an attempt to force their way into the building. To keep the situation under control, a large police force was deployed. Several BJP offices across the state were looted.
The police erected iron barricades outside of the entrance to the building housing the party offices on the fourth, seventh, and eighth floors, but the crowds repeatedly tried to pull them down and force their way into the building. The battle lasted until late in the evening.