16 injured as BJP workers, police clash in Asansol

WEST BENGAL : Asansol remained tensed for the second consecutive day on Saturday after 16 people were injured in a clash between BJP supporters and police yesterday. A large contingent of the police force has been deployed in the area and raids are also being conducted to arrest the trouble makers.

According to the police, the clash between the two groups erupted when police tried to stop a rally, organised by BJP’s youth wing, from heading towards the Asansol Municipal Corporation to submit a letter against corruption and demand better civic services.

While the saffron party claimed that it was a scheduled programme, police said no permission was granted to the party.

“Yesterday afternoon, a procession by BJP workers tried to cross the barricades kept on their way to the corporation via Girija More. After police tried to stop them, the workers hurled glass bottles. The scene soon turned ugly and we resorted to lathicharge to disperse the mob and also lobbed tear gas shells,” a senior cop said, preferring anonymity.

BJP leaders, however, claimed that it was the police who provoked the workers, who were otherwise holding a peaceful procession.

“Not only police, but even the goons backed by TMC also attacked our workers. They provoked our workers by using lathis on people who were protesting peacefully,” BJP district president Lakhsman Ghoroi said.

He added, “Several of our supporters were injured when police and TMC workers attacked us.”