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Bengal: One dead after two groups clash with crude bombs, guns over quarantine centre

On Saturday, state health department officials visited Talibpur village and earmarked the girls’ hostel of Talibpur High Secondary school as one of the quarantine centres.

Written by Ravik Bhattacharya | Kolkata | Updated: April 6, 2020 1:24:39 am
In quarantined Bengal village, fear of stigma as big as that of corona Policemen patrol a village Bengal. (Express photo by Partha Paul)

One person died after two groups of villagers clashed with each other and hurled crude bombs over setting up of a quarantine centre at Talibpur village in West Bengal’s Birbhum district. Seven people have been arrested by Panrui police.

“There was a clash between two groups in the village last night. One person succumbed to bomb injury. We have arrested seven persons in connection to the incident. A contingent of policemen has been posted in the village,” said Shyam Singh, police superintendent of Birbhum district. Follow LIVE Updates

The Bengal government is in the process of earmarking schools, colleges, hotels, guest houses, private hospitals as quarantine facilities of suspected COVID-19 cases. On Saturday, state health department officials visited Talibpur village and earmarked the girls’ hostel of Talibpur High Secondary school as one of the quarantine centres.

However, a section of villagers, led by Sheikh Nasiruddin, protested and said they would not allow the quarantine centre to come up in the village. There was a commotion and policemen intervened to calm tempers.

Later at night, two groups of people, one lead by Sheikh Nasiruddin and another by Palash Sheikh and Saifuddin Ahmed, allegedly clashed with each other and lobbed crude bombs and fired using country-made guns. Palash Sheikh, a Gram Panchayat member, was in favour of setting up the quarantine centre in the village.

Sheikh Nasiruddin (40) was hit by a crude bomb in his chest and was rushed to Bolpur sub-divisional hospital where he was declared brought dead. Another villager, Mehmud Sheikh (21), received bullet injuries in his leg.

“All my brother said was that if the quarantine centre came up in the village, there will be chances that the infection would spread out. That is why the villagers protested to the idea of turning the girls’ hostel into a quarantine centre. As a result, our family and others were attacked and my brother killed by Palash sheikh and Saifuddin Ahmed who are panchayat members and his men,” said Mithu Sheikh, brother of Nasiruddin. Palash Sheikh and his family members are absconding.

Meanwhile, a huge contingent of armed police have been deployed inside the village. A police picket has also been set up to maintain peace.

West Bengal has so far has officially registered 49 positive cases and three deaths. The government has set up
dedicated facilities for coronavirus at Calcutta Medical College hospital, Infectious Diseases hospital in Beleghata, MR Bangur hospital and new campus of Chittoranjan cancer research institute in Rajarhat.

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