After the police used lathi charges to disperse the crowd, a peaceful fan protest against East Bengal officials became violent. On Wednesday afternoon, East Bengal fans staged a peaceful demonstration against the club’s executives, but it quickly devolved into violence, with local police resorting to lath-charge to disperse the gathering.
The demonstration was in response to an ongoing dispute between East Bengal and its investor, Shree Cement, over the signing of a joint venture agreement. Several Red and Golds supporters gathered near the club premise with banners and peacefully raised shouts against club management, urging them to sign the final agreement.
However, the peaceful protest quickly devolved into violence, prompting the police to use lethal force to disperse the crowd and maintain law and order. According to police reports, a few supporters were hurt, and three or four others were arrested. Another group of supporters who supported the club authorities were also present at the site, urging them not to cave in to the investors’ demands and sign the final deal.
East Bengal senior Santosh Bhattacharya condemned the fan protest and said, “this was definitely not a good advert for the club. The people who are demanding we sign the agreement do not know the clauses of the final agreement. We cannot bring the final agreement to the public as it violates the understanding of the investors. This attack on the club is heartbreaking. Both the fans and us officials wish well for the club. We want them to send their representatives to the club so that they can look into the agreement. We cannot allow the club to go into private hands completely. Playing in the Indian Super League depends on the party who has the sporting rights of the club. Common ground can be reached through discussions but the investors do not want to meet us. They are constantly asking us to first sign and only then will they discuss the matter. ISL will start soon and they will not wait for East Bengal forever.”