Fri, 03 Feb 2023

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], January 25 (ANI): Indian Secular Front (ISF) supporters held a protest march in Kolkata against the arrest of party leader Naushad Siddiqui and 17 workers.

The protest march started from Sealdah and approached Esplanade.

ISF MLA Naushad Siddiqui along with 17 party workers was arrested and remanded in Police Custody till February 1 following a clash with police on Saturday. ISF workers clashed with police when Naushad was addressing a rally in Kolkata to mark his party's foundation day.

Earlier on Tuesday, ISF warned of massive protests in the West Bengal capital Kolkata if the police did not release Naushad.

Pirzada Md Abbas Siddique, the founder of the Indian Secular Front lashed out at the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) government of West Bengal and said that the TMC is afraid of the growing power of the ISF and is trying to subdue them.

"It is really unfortunate. Every party has the right to conduct its programmes. What happened there is really saddening. It is an attempt to murder democracy. Such incidents are sending a wrong message about Bengal," Abbas Siddique told ANI.

Questioning the move of the administration for keeping Nawshad Siddique in police custody, his brother Abbas termed it as a sheer misuse of power by the government.

"The government is afraid of ISF. There is only one MLA of ISF. However, people across the religions and languages are coming under the umbrella of ISF. This has created fear in the minds of the TMC leaders," he added.

Calling out the example of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Siddique said, "If Netaji can go to jail 11 times for the sake of justice, my brother also can."Kolkata Police lathi-charged and lobbed tear gas shells at the demonstrators of during a convention organised on the foundation day of the party at Esplanade area in central Kolkata on Saturday.

While talking to ANI, Zulfikar Mullah, one of the demonstrators, said, "The situation escalated after the police lathi-charged. The police said the demonstration was causing jams in the area and asked us to disperse."Another demonstrator, Sheikh Munirul said, "The authorities did not listen to us. They simply lathi-charged us. They broke our hands and some people also lost their mobile phones. We did not throw bricks. It was a peaceful protest."Bricks were hurled at the police by the protesters when the police tried to disperse the crowd.

On Friday, TMC and ISF workers clashed in the Bhangar area located in the South 24 Parganas district in the state. (ANI)

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