Kolkata Police Arrested ISF MLA: A protest by the opposition Indian Secular Front (ISF) in central Kolkata’s Esplanade area turned violent on Saturday afternoon as several policemen and ISF workers were injured in clashes with the police. Naushad Siddiqui, the lone MLA in the West Bengal Assembly of the ISF who is leading the protest, and around 100 party supporters have been arrested, a senior police officer said.
The ISF was protesting at the Dorina crossing against the alleged attacks by ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) party workers at Bhangar in South 24 Parganas district. The protesters blocked traffic around the crucial Jawaharlal Nehru Road intersection, following which the police requested them to vacate the Jawaharlal Nehru Road and restore traffic.
However, party workers refused to vacate the road and demanded that the criminals involved in the attack on its workers in Bhangar be arrested first. The party was formed before the state assembly elections in 2021.
19 policemen got injuries
Kolkata Police Commissioner Vineet Goel said, “They (protesters) were adamant and after an altercation attacked one of our officers. Our officers intervened and then party workers started pelting stones at our officers. We had to disperse them.” Tear gas shells had to be used to disperse.” Please tell that at least 19 policemen including some officers were injured in the melee.
“The injured are being treated. Some are admitted in the SSKM hospital, while some are in the Calcutta Medical College,” Vineet Goyal told reporters after meeting the injured policemen at the SSKM hospital. The number of ISF supporters injured in the police action is not known.
Deployment of RAF and Armed Policemen
According to the information, a large number of police forces including RAF and armed policemen have been deployed in the area. Several top police officers reached the spot to control the crowd. After about an hour’s struggle, the police cleared the road and chased away the protesters, but sporadic incidents of stone pelting continued for some time.
100 ISF workers including MLA arrested
The MLA was first detained and later arrested. At least 100 ISF workers who were returning to Bhangar after attending the meeting were also arrested. Siddiqui condemned the inaction of the police in Bhangar and the use of force against peaceful protesters at Esplanade before his detention.
Why did the ruckus start?
A day earlier, TMC workers allegedly set fire to the party offices of the ISF in Bhangar. However, the ruling party claimed that the ISF has been working to vitiate the atmosphere in the area for the past few days by bringing in armed men and attacking their supporters.
ISF was formed by Maulvi Abbas Siddiqui
Apart from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the ISF is the only opposition party to have won a seat in the 2021 West Bengal assembly elections. The Left Front, led by the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), an ally of the ISF, and the Congress failed to win even a single seat. In February 2021, this party was formed by Abbas Siddiqui, an influential cleric of Furfura Sharif in Hooghly district.