Ugly scenes outside East Bengal club as fans launch hostile protest; several arrested

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East Bengal supporters with banners outside the club premises. (Source: Khel Now)

Kolkata: East Bengal fans took to the streets in protest after the club’s Executive Committee refused to sign the final agreement with investors Shree Cement amid the ongoing feud between the two parties. The supporters shouted slogans ‘Sign and Resign’, ‘Enough is Enough’, ‘When dictatorship is a fact, revolution becomes a right’ and many more.

Thousands of loyal supporters thronged the club premises at Leslie Claudius Street on Wednesday afternoon with banners calling for the resignation of club official Debabrata (Nitu) Sarkar. Firm on their stand, the clashes broke out between the supporters and the police resulting in the latter to lathicharge in addition to several arrests.

According to reports, the club too hired hundreds of people to dismantle the protest resulting in clashes. It has also been learnt that several media persons were also attacked by the police. Videos on Twitter showed journalists gherao police demanding explanations for the attack on them.

According to Goal.com, the police said: We patiently waited as two sets of fans protested. But after some time things went out of hand as the crowd turned mob so we had to charge and disburse them. No lathi-charge happened. 3 or 4 people have been arrested and action will be taken against them.”

The protests were already on the forecast as several fanatic groups had announced last week that, they would gather outside the club demanding the officials to sign the final term sheet let the team play in the ISL.

East Bengal management had decided on Friday not to sign the final agreement with investor Shree Cement after an emergency meeting where all 24 executive members signed in a statement saying the same.

“Under the leadership of the club president (Dr. Pranob Dasgupta), the Executive Committee has decided not to sign the final agreement which will force us to transfer the ownership, club ground, club tent, logo and the name of the club to the investors,” the statement read.

“The final agreement is insulting to the club members and they curtail the rights of the members. We appeal to our fans to stand beside the club. Under the current circumstances, we have decided to discuss the matter with the former players of the club,” the statement added.

The supporters also called officials to uncover the final term sheet publicly demanding transparency. While other clubs are making strides towards building up a formidable side for the upcoming season, the ‘Red and Yellow’ brigade took no initiative for improvement this season.

Lack of professionalism over the years affected the Kolkata Giants on the field for a while now despite being one of the oldest clubs in the country. The club officials, however, asked the former footballers and the members to bring the matter to the table if possible.

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