Kolkata Police used water cannons on Tuesday to stop Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) activists from entering Bikash Bhavan in Salt Lake area in protest against the alleged School Service Commission (SSC) scam prompting the saffron activists to stage a sit-in demonstration.
The BJP Yuva Morcha had called for a protest march to Bikash Bhawan, the headquarters of the state education department, in protest against alleged irregularities in the recruitment of teachers in state government schools.
The protest march was led by national president of the saffron party's youth front, Tejasvi Surya, state BJYM president Indranil Khan and state BJP president Sukanta Majumdar.
Carrying posters and placards against the West Bengal government, the BJP activists shouted slogans against the state education department. They demanded that the culprits behind the scam should be put behind bars.
The police had put up a three-layer barricade outside Bikash Bhawan and in the beginning tried to persuade the activists to stop their march.
But the activists paid no heed and broke through the first barricade, which led to the police using water cannons to disperse them.
The activists led by Majumdar and Surya later squatted on the road and organized a sit-in against the police action.
"The state government and police are trying to snatch away our democratic right to protest. If there is injustice and corruption, it is natural that we would protest. But the way a democratic protest is being curbed is undemocratic," Surya said.
West Bengal BJP chief Sukanta Majumdar said Mamata Banerjee has killed democracy in West Bengal. "We told Police to arrest/detain us but not resort to lathi-charge. But they did. Male cops attacked our women workers," he said.
Surya later took to Twitter and posted the video of police using water cannons to stop them. He wrote, "Weapons cannot shred the soul, nor can fire burn it. Water cannot wet it, nor can the wind dry it. The fight will continue undeterred!"
In another tweet, the Bangalore South MP claimed that more than 15 party workers were seriously injured during the protest, however, the Kolkata Police didn't help them.
"15+ @BJYM Karyakartas were hurt & grievously injured. Yet, Kolkata police didn't even provide ambulance or any transport to shift them to hospital. We pleaded with auto & cab drivers & ensured they were admitted to hospital," he tweeted.
(With PTI inputs)