A group of women beat up a woman police officer at the Bidhannagar (North) Police Station in Kolkata on Saturday evening, The Telegraph reported. The incident took place after the police detained some youths from the Calcutta Book Fair.
The youngsters, seeing Bharatiya Janata Party National Secretary Rahul Sinha at the fair, began to shout slogans against the amended Citizenship Act, the newspaper reported. A scuffle then broke out between the youngsters and some men, who may have been BJP supporters, standing near the party’s stall at the book fair.
Subsequently, the police detained several people and took them to the police control room in the fairground and then to Bidhannagar (North) Police Station. All of them were released later in the day.
However, later in the evening, a video emerged of a group of women scratching, pulling, pushing and punching a woman police officer at the police station. In the video, one of her male colleagues could be seen trying to pull her away from the crowd.
A police officer said a separate case will be registered in connection with the assault. “This is unacceptable. No one can hit a police officer,” he said. “This is more shameful because a woman was beaten up inside a police station.”
An anti-CAA forum, the Jatiyo Bangla Sammelan, alleged that workers of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad attacked their members when they were distributing leaflets at the fair. “They have beaten many of our senior members,” a member of the Jatiyo Bangla Sammelan alleged.
Shubhadeep Ghosh, a graduate from Jadavpur University, alleged that cops and BJP supporters thrashed him and others when they tried to find out why five of their friends had been detained.
Sinha, meanwhile, called the episode a mere drama. “It was only an attempt to get highlighted,” he said. “But we are not going to pay any heed to such attempts by these people to hog the limelight. So, it is useless to comment on the matter.”
A group of people gathered around Jadavpur Police Station and blocked Raja SC Mullick Road at night to protest against the “police atrocities” at the fair. The fair began on January 29 and will end on Sunday.
The Citizenship Amendment Act, approved by Parliament on December 11, provides citizenship to refugees from six minority religious communities from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan, provided they have lived in India for six years and entered the country by December 31, 2014. The Act has been widely criticised for excluding Muslims. At least 28 people have died in protests against the Act, of which 26 have died in states ruled by the BJP.