1 killed in police firing as violence continues in West Bengal

first_imgAt least one person was killed and several others injured in firing in the Bhatpara-Kakinara area of North 24 Paraganas, about 30 km from Kolkata. The deceased was identified as Dharamveer Shaw.While the police confirmed the death of Mr. Shaw, a street food vendor, locals said one more person was killed, a claim that could not be confirmed. At least three more civilians and a few policemen were injured.It was after a two-hour clash, during which miscreants hurled bombs at each other, that the police reached Bhatpara. They claimed that they had been attacked by the locals and “vehicles were vandalised”. However, one person, who claimed to be an uncle of Mr. Shaw, said that “the police opened fire without any provocation and killed his nephew.” His body could be seen lying in a pool of blood, while the bullet that presumably hit him pierced the shutter of a shop. A police officer said they had not “fired and killed civilians.”The area, predominantly inhabited by migrant workers from Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh, witnessed sporadic violence following the election result, which saw BJP leader Arjun Singh defeating Dinesh Trivedi of Trinamool Congress. The locals described various incidents — which were also communal — caused by the turf war between the Trinamool and the BJP.The State government has decided to set up a new police station in Bhatpara, and it was supposed to be inaugurated on Thursday. But the inauguration was postponed following the violence. Additional Director-General of Police (Barrackpore Police Commissionerate) Sanjay Singh reached the area with a huge force. The Rapid Action Force was also deployed. Director-General of Police Virendra also reached there and held meetings with officials.Home Secretary Alapan Banerjee said Section 144 had been imposed. “Section 144 has been imposed in Bhatpara, Jagaddal and adjacent areas. Law and order will be restored and the situation will be normalised,” Mr. Banerjee said.BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya said the party was sending a team of MPs to Bhatpara. “It is a clear case of the police opening fire and killing an innocent person. [Chief Minister] Mamata Banerjee has lost mental balance and the State government has failed to control the situation despite continuing violence in the area for quite some time,” he said. He said a team of BJP MPs would visit Bhatpara on Friday. Local MP Arjun Singh said the police “fired and killed Shaw from a close range.”TMC leader Tapas Ray said the BJP was “instigating such violence to destabilise the TMC government.” “The TMC came to power with popular mandate and still has a majority in the Assembly. But it is routinely disturbed by the Central government. This violence is an attempt of the Centre to dislodge the State government,” Mr. Ray said.last_img

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