East Bengal take action after Fans clash with Media, Mohun Bagan Supporters at Kolkata Derby

Fans exchanging words with journalists
Fans exchanging words with journalists

For a moment, it looked like a repeat telecast. But this time, the characters were playing the opposite role.

East Bengal officials reacted a day after the club's supporters ran amok at the East Bengal ground, promising better security and taking a few other measures to weed out the bad elements.

East Bengal and Mohun Bagan fans clashed with each other once again and this time, the matter is more serious given the extra security that was arranged for the match. Nothing could prevent the unruly supporters from doing their 'duties' and this time, even the media was not spared.

Deeply condemning the whole scenario, an East Bengal official said they will provide more security and ensure nothing untoward happens in near future. They will also arrange a meeting with the Sports Minister to tell the details of the whole scenario. They will also send reports to IFA and AIFF headquarters.

Also, fans will have to buy tickets to watch youth derby from next time and members will have to show their valid membership cards to get an entry.

Police are looking for the accused supporters based on the footage available on various news channels and web portals but no arrest has been made yet.

For the last few seasons, the U-18 I-League fixture between the two Kolkata giants East Bengal and Mohun has become a hot topic of debate. Due to the minimal security, the rival fans often fight with each other and end up creating a raucous in and outside the stadium.

On Wednesday, it was the East Bengal supporters who turned violent during half-time, when their team were trailing because of a goal from Lalthankhuma Duhvela. Alleging bias coverage towards their team, a section of East Bengal supporters attacked some media personnel, who were near the VIP gallery covering the match.

When the media persons protested, tempers flared between the two sides and a reporter from a local news portal was manhandled. East Bengal supporters also attacked a female reporter, who was standing nearby trying to pacify the supporters.

The situation got out of control once the referee blew the final whistle and East Bengal had lost the match. Scores of East Bengal supporters attacked Mohun Bagan fans with iron rods and bamboo sticks.

At least five green and maroon supporters were injured and given first aid. Footage available from various media channels show East Bengal supporters running towards their rival fans and beating them up near Eden Gardens, close to East Bengal grounds. Police tried to control the situation but they were outnumbered by the fans, who were violent.

Earlier this year in the same fixture at Barasat Stadium, fans of both the clubs were embroiled in a fight before a huge police force intervened to take control of the situation. Last July in an U-19 IFA Shield match at the same stadium, an East Bengal fan Anirban Kanshabanik, who was returning home after watching the match, broke his head when a stone was thrown at him allegedly by some unruly Mohun Bagan supporters.

Last month, in the first fixture of U-18 I-League between the two teams, Mohun Bagan fans attacked on East Bengal supporters with iron rods and bamboo sticks. Some women fans were also injured in the process.

To avoid this kind of situation, both clubs held a joint press conference a day before the match and urged the supporters to behave properly and respect the rival fans. But it seems the message went unheard by some supporters.

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Edited by Aravind Suchindran
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