The BJP today accused the ruling Trinamool Congress of attacking its "Anti-Black-Money Day" rallies in two corners of the city, a charge denied by local TMC leaders. The saffron party claimed TMC workers attacked its activists in the Bowbazar area in central Kolkata and near Kalighat in the southern part of the city. BJP workers were marching to the state party headquarters in Central Kolkata as part of the party's nationwide "Anti- Black-Money Day" rally when some miscreants started burling abuses and pelting them with stones, West Bengal BJP general secretary Sayantan Basu said. When the workers protested, they were beaten up, he added. Following this, the BJP workers gheraoed the Bowbazar police station, demanding the immediate arrest of the culprits. "Later we lodged a police complaint and lifted the gherao. In a democracy, every political party has the right to take out peaceful rallies. This is not a sign of a healthy democracy when opposition party workers are beaten up by the ruling party for taking out protest rallies," Basu said. A similar incident was reported by saffron party workers at Rashbehari Avenue, near the Kalighat Metro station. State unit general secretary Deboshree Chowdhury, who led the rally near Rashbehari Avenue, said BJP workers were attacked by TMC activists. "TMC activists attacked our party workers.
Even women were not spared. Our dais was completely destroyed. We went to Tollygunge police station to seek action against the culprits. But the police are not willing to do anything," she alleged. A senior officer of the Kolkata Police said they had received complaints from both the areas and were looking into the matter. "The situation is under control now. So far, we have not arrested or detained anyone," the officer said. Television news channels showed footage of the dais being ransacked by a group of people. Local TMC leaders, however, denied any involvement in the attack, and instead charged BJP leaders with trying to bring down the podium of the Trinamool's anti-demonetisation programme in the same area, near the Kalighat metro station. "Why would we beat them up? They don't have any issues and that is why they are making these false allegations against us," TMC leader and chairperson of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation Mala Ray said. She also alleged that BJP workers were abusing Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. "We led a peaceful rally," she said.
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