Kolkata Police used water cannon and lathi-charged the crowd to disperse the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) workers in the city who had gathered for state-wide 'Nabanna Chalo' agitation against the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee-led government, on Thursday (October 8) afternoon.

When the procession started from Santragachhi, BJP leader Raju Bandyopadhyay faced police obstruction. He fell ill in the procession and started vomiting. The BJP alleged that the water cannons used by the cops to disperse the agitators contained chemicals.

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The water cannons allegedly mixed with chemicals were used in Howrah Santragachi Kona Expressway. Police blocked the BJP procession with barricades over there. BJP leader Raju Bandyopadhyay started vomiting after drinking water from the water cannon fired by the police. A few more BJP workers also fell ill after drinking the water. Water cannons mixed with chemicals were also used in Howrah Maidan.

BJP alleges that party leader Raju Bandyopadhyay has fallen ill after drinking the chemical mixed water. The BJP has claimed that Raju fell ill and started vomiting after drinking water sprayed by the police.

However, the West Bengal government categorically rejected the BJP’s charge and denied any wrongdoings by the state police.

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“No chemical was used in water. It is wrong information. The intent globally to use colored water is to identify a person post dispersal for further necessary action as per law if required,” Alapan Bandyopadhyay, Chief Secretary, West Bengal, said.

Parts of Kolkata and adjoining Howrah resembled a battle zone on Thursday as BJP workers and supporters clashed with police, hurling stones and blocking roads and burning tyres, to protest a string of killings of saffron party workers.

Police personnel in riot gear burst teargas shells, beat up agitators and used water cannons to break up the protests which continued in the two cities for more than three hours.