BJP workers clashed with police in Taratala area of Kolkata on Thursday after they were stopped from heading to Majerhat bridge to protest “delay” in completion of the project.
The road bridge, which connects central Kolkata with suburbs in the south of the city, had collapsed in September 2018. This week, the state government announced that the newly-built four-lane bridge will be thrown open to public next month and said that the construction of a cable-stayed structure was done in a record time.
On Thursday, police said that things escalated after a group of BJP workers crossed the barricades installed near the bridge to stop people from entering the construction zone.
As BJP workers kept moving towards the bridge by not paying heed to the orders, police had to resort to lathicharge to disperse the mob, said a police officer.
Police also said that some of the BJP protesters pelted stones at them.
“Even no permission was given for the protest, a group of people gathered in Taratala. Police tried to intervene but no one listened. We were forced to detain some of them. Later, they were joined by BJP leaders, including Kailash Vijayvargiya. But no one was arrested. Police tried to pacify the situation and they were asked to leave the spot peacefully,” a senior police officer said.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee accused the Railways for the delay in the construction of the bridge.
“The Railways has been delaying giving necessary clearance. But of course, the BJP is more interested in spreading misinformation. For nine months, we waited for getting necessary clearance from the Railways… Was BJP sleeping then? People of Behala and those staying in the outskirts have been suffering for long. The PWD was completed its work. However, there are still some areas, where we need clearance from the Railways. It’s BJP’s politics,” the Chief Minister said.
It is to be noted that the road bridge runs over Majerhat railway station.
“BJP is garbage… lies and full of drama. He (Kailash Vijayvargiya) wasn’t arrested. Yet he jumped in and claimed he was arrested by the police. He ran away after a few photos were taken. What type of drama is this? Those who think that they can increase their visibility by doing such things should realise that Bengal has rejected outsiders and those goons who enter Bengal to do drama during the elections,” said Banerjee.
Later in the evening, TMC general secretary Partha Chatterjee held a counter-rally in Taratala, where he accused the BJP of trying to interfere with the development projects of the state government.
“Where were they when Majerhat bridge collapsed? They are trying to disturb the development projects of Mamata Banerjee. Instead of protesting outside the Railway office, what made them protest near Majerhat bridge when the delay was caused by Railways,” asked Chatterjee.
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