VIOLENCE BETWEEN FANS reared its ugly head again after the Durand Cup final.
After Mohun Bagan beat East Bengal 1-0 to win Asia's oldest trophy for a record 17th time, fans of the two arch rival clubs clashed in the streets of Kolkata.
Supporters returning home from the game were attacked in areas dominated by the other club, resulting in injuries. Particularly, an incident in Kadapara where Mohun Bagan fans pelted stones at the passing vehicles of East Bengal fans took a dark turn with at least one female fan being reportedly injured. There were rumours of two girls being hospitalised including one being close to losing her eyesight but attempts to locate them in hospitals across the city by fans from both clubs yielded no result.
Several other incidents have been reported where fans of the two fiercely rival clubs resorted to fights. Videos have emerged of fans on trucks being struck in the head with bamboo sticks by pedestrians resulting in injuries, and in one incident an East Bengal fan was forced to remove his jersey by Mohun Bagan fans.
The 102 year old Kolkata Derby rivalry is known to be prone to violence, and the stadium was fortiified with police security to avoid that. But the hot interaction spots in the streets - like bus stops and traffic lights - go unmonitored and frequently become the place where such incidents occur. Despite that, police are yet to undertake strategic deployment of resources to guard these areas and ensure the safe return of fans after the match is over.