On 6th December, a street meeting organized by the Association for Protection of Democratic Rights (APDR), a prominent human rights organization, in Sonarpur turned chaotic as a group affiliated with Hindutva ideologies allegedly disrupted and attacked the gathering.
The organization’s state general secretary, in a social media statement, alleged that armed Hindutva activists were planning to attack their meeting. They started chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and other provocative slogans to disrupt the proceedings. However, due to police intervention, no untoward incident occurred.
According to reports, the Sonarpur branch of the human rights organization, APDR, organized the ‘Black Day’ street meeting to protest the Babri Masjid demolition on Wednesday. The meeting was held near the auto stand close to Sonarpur station in South 24 Parganas, West Bengal. Shortly after the meeting started, a group of 40-50 individuals attempted to disrupt it by chanting slogans such as ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’.
Ranjit Sur, APDR’s state general secretary, while talking about the incident said, “40-50 individuals affiliated with Hindutva organizations attempted to disrupt our meeting. The police intervened and stopped them, leading to scuffles. When the situation escalated, the police resorted to charging.”
“Police presence was crucial as they surrounded our meeting. Without their intervention, the situation could have turned unpleasant. It was unclear which organization they belonged to. However, the police informed us that they were associated with the Hindu Jagran Manch. They were armed with yellow flags and sticks. After a temporary closure, the meeting resumed,’ he said.”
APDR is a part of the nationwide civil and human rights movement. Since its establishment in 1972, the association, with branches spread across West Bengal and India, has been advocating for the protection of civil and democratic rights while opposing various forms of state repression. APDR maintains fraternal relations with civil and democratic rights organizations nationwide, as well as international organizations like Amnesty International.