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Vidyasagar statue broken in Trinamool-BJP violence

‘Waving of black flags’ at Shah & alleged stone-pelting at his convoy lead to violent turn of events; both the parties play blame game.

ET Bureau|
Updated: May 15, 2019, 07.06 AM IST
Violence erupts at Amit Shah's roadshow as students clash with BJP workers
Violence erupts at Amit Shah's roadshow as students clash with BJP workers
KOLKATA: BJP president Amit Shah’s roadshow in Kolkata on Tuesday ended up in violent clashes between Trinamool Congress youth members and BJP workers at College Street in the northern part of the city.

The clashes broke out near the iconic Presidency College and Calcutta University after ‘black flags were waved’ at Shah and stones were allegedly pelted at his convoy from the hostels of Vidyasagar College.

During the violence that followed, the mob vandalised the college hostel and broke the 200-year-old statue of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar.

TMC leaders claimed that the BJP had got ‘outsiders’ who damaged the college premises and broke the statue.

“Both groups had clashed and some people were injured. We are still waiting for the list of the injured. The college was vandalised and three bikes were set on fire,” said a senior police official.

The violence went on for a while till a huge police contingent was sent to the spot and some senior leaders intervened. Shah had to call off his roadshow and could not reach the ancestral house of Swami Vivekananda.

Reacting to the incident, Shah said that the people of Bengal will respond to such incidents on May 19, the last day of polling. “TMC workers attacked us and tried to sabotage the roadshow while the police remained mute spectators,” Shah alleged.

State’s education minister Partha Chatterjee, however, said the chief minister has been saying for long that these people would incite violence. “See what they have done to the college — they don’t even know what Vidyasagar means to us. Strict action would be taken.”

The roadshow, which saw Shah travel a 5-km distance between central and north Kolkata, was attended by thousands of party workers and supporters.

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