GUWAHATI, Dec 28 - Several people received injuries when supporters of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress clashed in front of the Rajiv Bhawan this afternoon during a protest programme of the saffron party.
The protest march by the BJP workers against the �derogatory comments� made by former Minister and Congress legislator Nilamani Sen Deka turned ugly when the protesters allegedly tried to force-enter the Congress party headquarters at the GS Road in ABC area where the foundation day meeting of the party was on.
Congress MLA Deka reportedly used derogatory remarks against Union Minister Smriti Irani at a public meeting on Sunday, triggering widespread protest against the legislator.
As part of the ongoing protest, the women wing of the BJP workers first staged a dharna in front of Deka�s residence in the city, holding placards after which they marched towards the Rajiv Bhawan. As soon as they reached the Congress headquarters, more BJP supporters assembled and an altercation ensued between the supporters of both the parties.
Supporters from both the parties then started pelting stones at one another in which several persons from both side sustained injuries. They were rushed to a nearby hospital.
Additional forces were rushed in, and as the protest turned violent, security personnel had to resort to firing of tear gas shells to disperse the crowd.
A senior Assam Police official told this reporter that the situation got aggravated when the BJP workers tried to forcibly enter into the Rajiv Bhavan campus.
�As the protest grew, the Congress party members also retaliated by pelting stones,� the police said, adding that several persons were picked up from the spot. Traffic movement was also affected for more than an hour on the GS Road and the routes were diverted.
APCC president Anjan Dutta later told mediapersons that they lodged an FIR against the BJP workers and requested the police to book the culprits at the earliest.
Dutta alleged that the hooliganism displayed by the BJP was condemnable and strict action should be taken against the culprits.
On Nilamani Sen Deka�s remarks, Dutta said that the latter had already been issued a showcause notice and that the former Minister had already tendered his apology.