Several Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers and police personnel were injured after a "law-violation programme" of the party turned violent in Basirhat town of West Bengal's North 24 Parganas district on Monday and at least 54 people have been either arrested or detained in connection with it, police said. Inspector in-charge of Basirhat police station, Premashis Chattoraj was among the injured, the police said. According to the police, they had initially tried to pacify the BJP supporters, but resorted to lathi-charge to disperse the crowd after the party workers threw stones at the force.
West Bengal: Clash broke out between BJP workers and Police in Basirhat today. More details awaited. pic.twitter.com/mgGj620Bbaâ€” ANI (@ANI) December 24, 2018
Basirhat in North 24 Parganas district is about 60 km east of Kolkata. BJP state president Dilip Ghosh, who was present at the event, claimed that the stones were thrown by "outsiders" who had nothing to do with the party.
"We were conducting our 'law-violation programme' peacefully, but the police started unprovoked lathi-charge.Those who have pelted stones are outsiders, they have nothing to do with the BJP," he said.
Senior TMC leader Jyotipriyo Mullick alleged that the saffron party was deliberately trying to create violence and demanded that Ghosh be arrested for instigating it.
TMC MP from Basirhat Lok Sabha consituency, Idris Ali accused BJP of trying to flare communal violence in the state ahead of Christmas and New year celebrations.
The BJP has been organising 'law-violation programmes' in various parts of the state in protest against the Trinamool Congress government's decision to not allow its proposed rath yatras.
The Supreme Court on Monday declined to grant urgent hearing on a plea challenging a Calcutta High Court order of not allowing the party's rath yatras in the state.
The three-phased "Save Democracy Rally" was scheduled to be held this month and cover all the 42 Lok Sabha constituencies. The rallies were to be flagged off by BJP president Amit Shah.Â