Rights activists attacked during anti-war march in Kolkata, Mamata orders stern action

The Association for Protection of Democratic Rights or APDR alleged that the BJP and the RSS was behind the attack, both of which denied the allegations.

Published: 21st February 2019 10:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 21st February 2019 10:00 AM   |  A+A-

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee (File | PTI)

By PTI

KOLKATA: An anti-war march by human rights organisation APDR was attacked in the city on Wednesday by a group of men who accused the rallyists of being sympathisers of terrorists.

The Association for Protection of Democratic Rights or APDR alleged that the BJP and the RSS was behind the attack, both of which denied the allegations.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee condemned the attack and asked police to take action.

APDR activists carrying placards and shouting slogans demanding peace between nations in wake of the Pulwama terror attack was to cover a 2.

8 km distance between College Street and Esplanade in the heart of the city this afternoon.

A massive police contingent was guarding the march.

When the rally reached the Jan Bazar area, few men carrying national flags blocked its way and shouted slogans against APDR activists, accusing them of being sympathizers of Pakistan and "anti-national" elements.

They also allegedly heckled the rallyists and asked them to go to Pakistan.

The police then intervened and removed the men from the spot.

APDR activist Sujata Bhadra said, "The BJP and RSS is behind the attack. We condemn it. We are not afraid of this government (at the Centre). We have every right to present out views. We hope police will take stern action against such criminals."

Terming the allegations "baseless", RSS leader Jishnu Basu said, "It has become a fashion to blame us for everything."

Jan Bazar, where the attack took place, is a minority-dominated area.

"If in that area APDR is attacked then it proves that nationalist people are against the propaganda of APDR," Basu said.

Echoing Basu, BJP state president Dilip Ghosh said, "When the entire country stands united in fight against terror, any organisation that takes out such a rally ought to face such backlash from the masses."

Banerjee, while talking to reporters at state secretariat Nabanna, said she has asked the police to take stern action against those responsible for the attack.

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