Kolkata, Aug 27 (IANS) A farmers’ rally called by the opposition Left Front here on Thursday turned violent with protesters and police engaging in pitched battles and stone pelting.
The rally was led by the CPI-M affiliated All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) and supported by 10 other Left Front affiliated peasant fronts.
It organised a Nabanna Abhiyan – a march to the state secretariat – to press for their 17-point charter of demands including issues such as farmer suicides and rehabilitation of farmers ruined by the recent floods in West Bengal.
The rally was taken out from four spots, two in the city – Rani Rashmoni Road and Kidderpore – and two from neighbouring Howrah district.
The assembly at Rani Rashmoni Road turned violent after the agitators tried to break police barricades.
While the police claimed several of their personnel were injured in stone pelting, Left Front chairman Biman Bose who participated in the rally accused the police of acting as “volunteers” of the ruling Trinamool Congress.
Both Bose and Leader of Opposition and CPI-M state secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra were caught in the melee.
“The police have acted like Trinamool volunteers. Just to break a peaceful agitation, they rained batons on peasants,” said Bose.