Several policemen and Left Front protesters were injured in Kolkata and Howrah on Monday in a clash during a protest march to the secretariat, reported IANS.

The protestors used sticks and bamboo poles to break barricades and pelted stones on policemen, while the security forces baton-charged and used tear gas and water canons to disperse the activists. Rapid Action Force personnel were also deployed before 11 Left outfits started their “March to Nabanna” from five different areas, reported IANS.

Left Front chairperson Biman Bose and former minister Kanti Ganguly were among those injured, according to Economic Times. The protest march was organised to submit an 18-point charter of demands that included measures to stop farmers’ distress and rising unemployment in West Bengal.

At least 12 people, including Left leader Sujan Chakraborty, MLAs Manas Mukherjee and Anisur Rahman, were detained and taken to Shibpur police station after they shouted slogans and demanded entry into the secretariat, reported The Times of India.

The protestors sat on the road to demonstrate after they were first stopped. Later, they broke the barricades to continue the march. “Twenty of our MLAs reached the gate of Nabanna to protest against the issues of unemployment, farmers’ distress and other issues,” Chakraborty told IANS. “But police did not let us in. They forcefully stopped us and later put us in police vans.”

Communist Party of India (Marxist) politburo members Mohammed Salim, Surjya Kanta Mishra and Biman Bose were also part of the march. Salim alleged the police were “hooligans in uniform”, who ransacked vehicles of the protestors. Bose, on the other hand, demanded the immediate release of those detained. Meanwhile, the clashes threw the city traffic out of gear, reported Hindustan Times.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is currently in Birbhum. Trinamool Congress General Secretary and state minister Partha Chatterjee said that the protest was “CPM’s desperate effort to make their presence felt in Bengal”.