KOLKATA: Clashes broke out between BJP activists and police on Wednesday, when the saffron party took out a rally here to protest against the spurt in dengue cases.
The protest march, convened by BJP Yuva Morcha, has been taken out from Central Avenue in the city and is scheduled to culminate at Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) headquarters, with the gherao of the civic office.
“The state government has been deliberately trying to hush up the figures (of those killed and affected). The government and the KMC are more keen on hiding the actual numbers rather than taking steps to tackle the menace,” state BJP president Dilip Ghosh, who led the rally, told reporters.
Police sources, however, said that barricades have been set up near Chandni Chowk Metro station to stop the rally beyond that point.
The saffron party said it wanted to submit a deputation to Kolkata Mayor Firhad Hakim regarding the dengue menace and, if stopped, the party would resort to a sit-in demonstration.
According to police sources, the officers had initially tried to pacify the saffron party activists, asking them to go back.
The BJP supporters, in return, threw water bottles and stones at them, prompting police to use water cannon to dispel the crowd, the sources claimed.
Several BJP activists were detained during the clashes, the police sources added.
As many as 44,852 dengue cases have been reported from Kolkata and its adjoining areas, a report of the state health department has revealed.
As per a government official, 25 people have died of dengue in the state since January.