Ghazala Ahmad | Clarion India
NEW DELHI – Indian Secular Front (ISF) legislator Nawsad Siddique and 18 other party workers, including a juvenile, are in police custody in connection with the violence allegedly unleashed on ISF members by Trinamool Congress (TMC) activists on Saturday, January 21.
All the arrested ISF members will be produced in Kolkata’s Bankshall Court on February 1, reports reaching here said on Tuesday.
ISF observes 21st January as its foundation day and a public meeting was called by the party to mark the second year of its establishment.
Before the meeting could even take place in Dharmatala area of Central Kolkata, several ISF members, who were on their way to the venue of the event, were attacked by a group of Trinamool Congress activists.
“While workers and sympathisers of ISF were coming for the public meeting in small vans, some anti-social elements blocked the road and created a ruckus,” an ISF sympathiser told Clarion India over the phone from Kolkata.
“Party chairman and elected MLA from Bhangar constituency Nawsad Siddique was also attacked on his way to the venue. Some goons started pelting stones incessantly and physically assaulted him. His car was also ransacked. Even though Siddique sustained injuries, he reached the venue to address the meeting,” he added.
After the foundation day event got over, some ISF workers, protesting the violence they were subjected to, clashed with the Kolkata police in Esplanade area. “The police resorted to brutal lathicharge and fired tear gas on ISF members,” he said.
Several ISF workers and many policemen were injured in the clashes.
Addressing the gathering at the foundation day event, Siddique alleged that his party workers were attacked on their way to the venue of the event. He also demanded that those responsible for the attack should be arrested forthwith.
A party member told Clarion India: “Our MLA and activists are being targeted because we are raising issues of unprecedented corruption of the ruling Trinamool Congress and fighting against land mafias usurping the wetland in the vicinity of Bhangar.”
Eighteen people including Nawsad Siddique, Biswajit Maity, and Nasiruddin Mir have been arrested and are in Lalbazar central lockup, he said demanding their immediate release.
“It is clear that the ruling party has turned democracy into a mockery, resorting to violence through its henchmen and the police. It is fast turning into an authoritarian state where the opposition’s voice is muzzled,” he added.
Earlier, the state secretary of CPI(M) Md. Salim condemned the police action and demanded the release of Nawsad Siddique and others.
Several social organizations, intellectuals and activists are organising a ‘citizens’ meeting’ in the Dharmtala area on Wednesday, January 25. The meeting is open to all and is aimed at safeguarding the constitution.