The police lathicharged a group of Socialist Unity Centre of India (SUCI) workers at the Esplanade area here, injuring 107 party supporters as the latter tried to break a police barricade soon after their rally called to protest against the “anti-people” policies of the Centre and the state government.
The incident took place when SUCI workers put up a law violation programme after taking out a rally in support of their 18-point demands, which included deterioration of law and order situation in Bengal, criminalisation of politics, violence against women, Saradha issue and against the Central government’s decision to amend the Land Acquisition Act.
Soumen Basu, state president, SUCI, said: “About 30,000 SUCI supporters had taken out a rally from College Square to Esplanade at 2.30 pm. They reached Esplanade and were scheduled to put up a law violation programme. As soon as they attempted to break the barricade, RAF (Rapid Action Force ) officials opened a lathicharge and they beat up our boys ruthlessly.”
Two of the SUCI workers — Uttam Parui and Ramakanth Sarkar — have been suffered severe eye injury and were taken to a private hospital, while at least 32 of them have sustained head injury, Basu added.
However, Lalbazar police officials denied any incident of cane charge. “There had been no lathi-charge and the question of injury or arrests does not rise. On the contrary, 10 of our police personnel were injured by stone pelting by the workers,” said a senior officer at the police headquarters.
To protest against the alleged lathi charge, SUCI would observe ‘Protest Day’ across the state on Friday. “We will also put up gherao and blockades at various places in Bengal,” Basu said.
SUCI leaders also alleged that in spite of the deregulation of prices of petroleum products, common people were not getting the full advantage of the fall in prices of crude oil in the international market.
“Whatever fall in diesel price has there been, the state government is not bringing down bus and taxi fares so that the common man could be benefitted,” said Amitabh Chattopadhyay, senior SUCI leader.