Rights activists rally attacked in Kolkata
Kolkata, Feb 20 : Members of a Kolkata-based civil rights body were allegedly attacked and manhandled by some people while they were holding an "anti-war rally" here on Wednesday, the organisation said.
The Association for Protection of Democratic Rights (APDR) members were taking out a rally against communal polarisation and provocation to wage war in the wake of the Pulwama terror attack, from central Kolkata's Moulali to Esplanade on Wednesday afternoon, when they were confronted by a group of youths carrying the tricolour, who tried to stop them.
The youths raised slogans like "Bharat Mata Ki Jai" and "Pakistan Murdabad", and allegedly heckled a few people in the rally before police intervened.
APDR said it suspected Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh's (RSS) hand in the attack and blamed the police of inaction.
"We were taking out the rally against the rising communal tension and provocation by certain political groups to wage war against Pakistan following the Pulwama terror strike. Five or six youths tried to stop us and accused us of being agents of Pakistan. They even manhandled some of our activists," said human rights activist Sujato Bhadra.
"This was a pre-planned attack on our peaceful rally. We suspect the RSS is behind this. There was sufficient police with the rally, but they remained inactive. We will lodge a complaint with the city police commissioner against both the RSS and the police," he said.
State BJP President Dilip Ghosh criticised the APDR for holding the rally.
"There's no war going on, so what is the need for an anti-war rally? By doing this, they are indirectly supporting Pakistan. They are going against the mood of the nation after the tragic death of our soldiers in Pulwama," Ghosh said.
Ghosh claimed that such rallies may hurt people's emotions and lead to unrest in the country. He, however, added that no one should take the law in their own hands.