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Kolkata: Indian Secular Front (ISF) activists fought a pitched battle with police within the Esplanade space of ​​central Kolkata on Saturday throughout a protest in opposition to alleged assaults on their employees by the Congress Trinamool ruling South 24 Parganas district. The protest disrupted site visitors round the important thing junction of Jawarharlal Nehru Road. The sole ISF MP, Naushad Siddique, who was main the protest, was arrested, and quite a few policemen and agitators had been injured. A senior police official mentioned the activists had blocked a thoroughfare within the coronary heart of the town, prompting cops to ask them to clear Jawaharlal Nehru Road and permit site visitors. However, employees within the social gathering, which was fashioned forward of the 2021 meeting elections, refused to drag off the street, demanding that these answerable for the assaults on its activists in Bhangar be arrested first.

As police charged on the employees with batons and threw tear gasoline canisters, the protesters, numbering round 500, retreated however threw rocks on the cops from close by lanes, injuring several officers. Protesters additionally broken police kiosks and guardrails, injuring several officers, the official mentioned.

A powerful police contingent, comprising the RAF and armed police, was deployed within the space. Several senior law enforcement officials rushed to the scene to regulate the group. After about an hour, police managed to clear the street and ward off the protesters, however errant rock-throwing incidents continued for a while. Commuters, who had been hiding in shops with their shutters down, got here out elevating their arms.

Siddique, earlier than his detention, lamented the “inaction” of the police in Bhangar and the “authoritarianism” of the power on the Esplanade in attacking “peaceful protesters”. A day in the past, the ISF social gathering workplaces had been set on fireplace in Bhangar, allegedly by TMC employees. The ruling social gathering in flip claimed that the ISF had destabilized the state of affairs within the area by bringing in gunmen and attacking their supporters in current days.

The ISF is the one opposition social gathering apart from the BJP to win a seat within the 2021 West Bengal Assembly elections. Its allies, the CPI(M)-led Left Front and Congress gained no seats. The social gathering was fashioned by Abbas Siddiqui, an influential Muslim cleric from Furfura Sharif in Hooghly district, in February of the identical 12 months.

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