Kolkata, Nov 21: The West Bengal Government today called out the Army in various parts of Kolkata after demonstrators protesting against violence in Nandigram and demanding the cancellation of visa of Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen, clashed with police.
The State Government also deployed personnel of the elite Rapid Action Force (RAF) to quell the disturbance that has brought normal life in Kolkata to a standstill.
The protestors under the banner of All India Minority Forum (AIMF) reportedly set up road blockades to protest the turmoil in Nandigram. They burnt two vehicles, including a police vehicle.
Initially, police had to baton charge the protestors belonging to the All India Minority Forum (AIMF). Teargas was also used to keep the protestors at bay.
In clashes on Ripon Street in Central Kolkata, several protestors and policemen were injured.
Kolkata's Deputy Commissioner of Police, Javed Shamim, was also reportedly injured in the clashes. Hundreds of demonstrators threw stones and empty glass bottles and traffic was badly affected in Central and Eastern Kolkata.
The Communist Government in West Bengal had planned to set up a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) for chemical industries in Nandigram, 150 km southwest of Kolkata, but had to abort the project after villagers refused to give up their lands.
Violent clashes between Communist supporters, police and locals opposed to the project have been taking place since January.
At least six villagers were killed and dozens injured in Nandigram last week in clashes between rival groups led by Communists and a frontal organisation backed by Trinamool Congress party.
The issue has also rocked the Winter Session of Parliament, which is debating it today. Senior BJP leader L K Advani began the debate from the Opposition side, and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who is currently attending the ASEAN Summit in Singapore, is expected to reply on Thursday morning.