The test of fire for the police of Kolkata when BJP goes out to the street today

KOLKATA: The confident BJP The camp in Bengal is now taking its political struggle from the districts to the power corridors of Calcutta. Party sources said that key points in the city, such as Sealdah and the stations, are likely to drown on Wednesday, as they expected almost 1 lakh of people to gather in these places for a march to Lalbazar.

The main meeting is expected to begin around noon at Subodh Mullick Square. The BJP leadership remained tight-lipped about their plans but claimed that the show of strength is likely to send out a strong message that the party can not be seen as a pushover in the city. Political pundits said the 2017 by BJP was a wakeup call for police.

In a space vacated by the Left, which had for decades a cat-and-mouse game with cops in the lanes and bylanes of this city before assuming power, the BJP will be eager to show that they can not only fit into its shoes but also the fact that they enjoy support even on ground as they push the accelerator in their bid for power, said a political scientist from a leading government college in Kolkata.

The police in Kolkata, too, is not leaving anything to chance. However, they are keeping their plans secret. All we can say is that we will have an adequate presence on the ground. We will not disclose our strategy for the obvious implications of law and order, said an IPS official in Lalbazar.

However, police sources stated that the blockades will be implemented at all major intersections and that they will be supervised by the assistant commissioners. Several high-ranking officials, including deputy commissioners and joint commissioners, will be in the field. In addition to the nine possible entry points to Lalbazar, there will be police surveillance in 19 bylanes. Staff armed with water cannons and tear gas shells will also be on duty from the morning. However, the police have been instructed not to go overboard to stop the protesters.

Police have received inputs that the BJP supporters will be marching mainly from the BJP headquarters. However, cops have sanitized at least five different routes towards the headquarters of the Kolkata Police at Lalbazar. There will be security barricades at the intersections on Bentinck Street.

Similar barricades will be put up on roads that connect Lalbazar with Chittaranjan Avenue. Cops will be using backpacks to transmit live feeds directly to the Lalbazar control room from where every move by the BJP supporters will be monitored.