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23 May 2017

Beaten by Left protesters, police please political masters and take it out on media

TT: Kashmir-like scenes of stone-throwing, teargas shelling and baton charges unfolded in central Calcutta on Monday. 
The beleaguered Left was trying to assert its presence in Bengal and the loyal police were showing their political masters they had yielded not an inch to the Opposition. At one stage, the police rounded on journalists and beat them up. A galvanised Left, which helps showcase red at the expense of saffron, should not be bad news for Mamata Banerjee at a time the BJP is flexing muscles in Bengal. More showdowns are not ruled out.
A police officer was beaten mercilessly by some of the protesters with a bamboo pole as he lay prostrate at the crossing of New Road and Mayo Road. Kicks and blows followed. The officer was later identified as Bodhisattwa Pramanik (right), 40, the second officer of Burrabazar police station.
Two of his fingers were fractured and he suffered a bloody nose and a swelling on his forehead. The sunshade of his helmet was smashed and the nametag on his shirt was torn. Pramanik got separated from his contingent as the outnumbered group retreated when a wave of protesters surged towards Park Street. Some of the protesters chased the police and singled out Pramanik at one point. He slumped on the road.
Along with the attacker with the bamboo pole was a man in a red T-shirt who is holding a police baton that was probably snatched.
Indranil Bhaduri, a photojournalist with R-Plus news channel, was filming footage on Mayo Road for a live programme when policemen encircled him, punched him in his face and beat him with lathis. “I was going live and got punched. My spectacles fell on the street and broke. Before I could react, I was hit with lathis on my left hand and both legs. They also damaged my video-camera,” Bhaduri said. Picture by Bibhash Lodh
Pictures by Sanjoy Chattopadhyaya

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