SEVERAL police officers and some BJP workers were injured as saffron activists on Sunday clashed with the Bengal police force at various points after were stopped by the administration from taking out “unauthorised” Sankalp Yatra. The Pioneer says among the injured police staff was a deputy superintendent of police and an inspector, sources said adding the police had to resort to lathi charge on a BJP motorbike rally in Midnapore where the bikers refused to stop even after being asked to do so as “they had no permission to stage such a rally and attacked them with stones,” a senior Bengal Minister said charging the BJP with “trying to foment a communal disturbance in the State ahead of the elections.”BJP president Amit Shah had earlier inaugurated the Yatra with an aim to tone up the organization and spice up the saffron cadres ahead of the coming elections. The ruling Trinamool Congress leaders alleged “they spent huge amount of money brining goons from neighbouring Jharkhand who attacked the police.”Similar clashes erupted at Goaltore, Asansol, Durgapur where a police officer in-charge was injured, Balurghat and other places police said.The BJP and the TMC had been involved in a fierce turf war in Bengal with Shah fixing a target of at least 23 Lok Sabha seats for his party in the coming elections. Aware of the saffron outfit’s known practice of fanning communal disharmony ahead of elections Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had refused permission to a BJP Rath Yatra early this year prompting the latter to move the Supreme Court. It however failed in its objective.Subsequently the BJP leadership decided to take out limited rallies throughout every district to tone up its party men. Sunday’s rally was an exercise in that direction, sources said.Reacting to the police lathi charge and the clashes between the two sides State BJP president Dilip Ghosh said “Mamata Banerjee is trying to stop the popular emotion with her police. But I warn both the administration and the TMC cadres to desist from putting unnecessary hurdles in the way of our political programmes failing which they will see more incidents like the one that took place today.
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