Kolkata, Oct 13 (PTI) BJP MP Locket Chatterjee on Wednesday wrote to Union Home Minister Amit Shah, urging him to seek a report from the West Bengal government on the use of 'chemicals' in water cannons at the party rally in the state last week.
'Harmful chemicals' were used to disperse the 'peaceful crowd of protestors' during the October 8 rally of the BJP's youth wing, which was unprecedented in India, she alleged in the letter.
'The people of Bengal will be highly grateful to you if you could kindly seek a report from the state government regarding the use of the chemicals in water cannons to disperse the crowd and protect the democratic fabric of the state,' the letter said.
'The chemical made people sick and breathless. Many karyakartas (office-bearers) were so ill that they had to be admitted into hospitals...,' it added.
The BJP youth wing's state president Soumitra Khan and Rajya Sabha MP Swapan Dasgupta also submitted a memorandum to the National Human Rights Commission of India (NHRC) against the state police over the issue of water cannons.
Reacting to the allegations, state minister and senior TMC leader Arup Biswas said the BJP is doing cheap politics.
'They had instigated violence on that day and police showed restraint. Now, they are making all sorts of wild allegations,' he said.
State Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay had said colours used during Holi was mixed in the water so that the protestors could be identified later.
Chatterjee also urged the railway authorities to resume local train services connecting the suburbs with Kolkata and met the manager of Eastern Railway's Howrah division.
'Everything has been reopened; buses, boats and flights are operating. When people have to go to work, where is the problem in restarting suburban train services?' she asked.
Howrah DRM Ishaq Khan said that a letter has been written to the West Bengal government on Tuesday, seeking a meeting to work out the modalities for running suburban trains.
'We have informed them that agitations are taking place at different places, demanding resumption of suburban services,' he said.
'We are awaiting an invitation from the state government for a meeting on the resumption of local train services,' Khan said.
Commuters affected by the closure of suburban train services since the beginning of lockdown in March, have been agitating at different stations in the Howrah and Sealdah divisions of Eastern Railway for the last few days demanding that local trains be run. PTI SUS/AMR SOM SOM