BREAKING: Cops, State Goons Assault Power Tariff Hike Protesters
21st Sept, Kolkata: Activists protesting against the unjust monopoly of CESC under the banner People’s Movement Against Power Tariff Hike were assaulted and arrested by the police on Y road, Dharmatala, Kolkata.
Fifty one activists, including one protester who was on hunger strike, have been arrested and taken to Lalbazar, the Kolkata Police Headquarters. The protestors were demanding the immediate withdrawal of power tariff hikes implemented by Goenka’s CESC.
For the past 16 days, six protesters have been on an indefinite hunger strike . The state has not responded so far.
In their last demonstration, at the same location on 17th Sept, they gave the Power Minister an ultimatum of 72 hours to intervene and resolve all issues. They also said that the next action would include more “militant tactics” if the Power Minister fails to intervene.
This morning the protesters started gathering at the venue from 11 AM to march to Writer’s Building and meet the power minister. At the very outset, the police blocked their way and began ‘negotiating’ with the protesters, by first saying that the power minister was in a meeting, and later by proposing that the protesters meet the PA of the minister instead.
At this point the protesters declined further negotiations and continued their march towards Writer’s Building. Barricades were put up and the police kettled the protesters, while police vans began entering the venue from all sides. Section 144 was imposed on Y Road to prevent any kind of direct action from the protesters.
Police officers in civil dress, popularly known as ‘ genji police ‘, sponsored by the ruling party of TMC, manhandled and assaulted the stranded protesters, and handed them over to be arrested.
51 protesters including one on hunger strike were arrested in no time and taken to Laalbazar. The crowd of protesters were dispersed by the police with threats of incarceration and thrashing. The rest of the hunger strikers, who were already inside the ambulance were then taken to Medical College by the police.
Watch this space for more updates.
Video to be uploaded soon.