One person was killed and 18 were injured when bombs were hurled at a CPM procession in Burdwan district on Thursday, police said. The opposition party had organised the procession to protest against alleged mismanagement in distribution of new digital food security cards and ration cards by the West Bengal government.
The CPM claimed that the Trinamool Congress engineered the incident, a charge denied by the ruling party.
The bombs were hurled in Raina block while the procession was passing by Shyamsundar College, SP Kunal Agarwal said. Ten people have been detained and a police picket has been posted in the area, he added.
The deceased was identified as Swapan Mallik (50). The injured were taken to hospital and the condition of two of them was stated to be critical, the police said.
CPM district secretariat member Uday Sarkar said the party led the procession and submitted a deputation to Raina I Block Development Officer on alleged anomalies in distribution of cards for implementation of the Food Security Act. CPM supporters were omitted from the list of beneficiaries, he claimed.
After submitting the deputation, while the procession was returning, bombs were hurled from the roof of Shyamsundar College hostel by TMC workers, Sarkar alleged. The party has lodged an FIR, he added.
Subhas Mondal, TMC’s district youth wing president and observer for Raina, denied any role of the party in the incident. Claiming that CPM workers terrorised the area in the name of submitting the deputation to the BDO, he questioned why the procession went to the college for the purpose.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee launched the new food security-cum-subsidised rationing system on January 27, called Khadya Sathi. Under the scheme, 7 crore out of the total population of 9 core in the state would get rice at Rs 2 a kg and other subsidised food rations. The old ration cards are now being replaced with digital ones and this has caused some problems, said government officials. The CM described the hitches as “teething trouble”. She also blamed the present disruptions on “CPM-backed dealers and agents” in the rationing system.
The CPM, on the other hand, has been demonstrating against the alleged dislocation in the ration supply chain of BPL and APL food supply in rural areas.