The Kolkata Police ended up lathicharging BJP protesters and Jadavpur University students on Monday evening as the two groups came to a near head-on collision at Sulekha More, a busy trijunction in the city's south. The deputy commissioner of Kolkata Police present on the spot publicly apologised to the students soon after, stating there were no orders to use batons and that it happened too suddenly. He also apologised if students were hurt. After blocking the junction for nearly two hours, the students marched to the local police station to file a complaint against the policemen who allegedly thrashed women students.
Since Monday afternoon, JU students took out several protest marches in the campus and outside in solidarity with students at JNU injured in last night's attack.
When word reached the students that the ABVP was planning a march from to the Jadavpur police station past the university campus, the students marched to Sulekha More about 500 metres from campus to stop the BJP demonstration.
Dramatic visuals showed the two sides initially hemmed in by police barricades about 50 metres apart. Then, as the students set fire to a BJP flag and the party workers surged forward, police began the lathicharge.
They first chased away dozens of BJP workers and then the slogan-shouting students, many of whom were women. At least a dozen students were hurt in the lathicharge. The women students said policemen had beaten them up mercilessly. Kolkata Police tweeted what appeared to be an apology to the students shortly after the incident.
Several colleges across the country have been hit by unrest after the masked attack on students and teachers at Jawaharlal Nehru University on Sunday evening. No arrests have been made so far in the case that left at least 34 injured in a horrifying attack that lasted over 3 hours.
JU students held a protest march last night itself, during which they burnt a BJP flag. The BJP, apparently in retaliation, burnt a CPI (M) flag and the Jadavpur University students hit back by burning yet another BJP flag.
The BJP protest was led by Anupam Hazra, a former Trinamool Congress MP who joined the BJP ahead of the Lok Sabha elections last year.
The violence at the university, whose students have been actively supporting the protesters against the amended Citizenship Act, triggered a furore across the country with celebrities to political parties condemning the attack.