Four policemen were injured in the city of Baduria in North 24 Parganas district on Wednesday after local people hurled stones at the police when they tried to lift a road blockade imposed in protest against alleged irregularities in the distribution of ration supplies.
Local people claimed that the violence erupted when the police started using batons to disperse the protesters.
“Our personnel received reports that some locals had put up a road blockade at ward number nine of Baduria Municipality,” said a senior district police officer. “They rushed to the spot to lift the blockade.
However, locals pelted us with stones and four of our personnel have been injured. We are looking into the matter.”
The police said 21 people were detained in connection with the violence.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee claimed that the incident was not related to her government’s ration distribution programme.
“The Baduria incident that took place today is not related to the state government’s ration distribution event,” she told reporters. “In many places, NGOs and political parties are also helping people [by providing ration] with their own money. The amount of ration to be distributed among the people depends on their capabilities. The government ration, which includes 5 kg rice, is being distributed to the people once a month. This is being done without any problem.”
Food Minister Jyotipriya Mullick blamed the BJP for the violence. “I have heard about the incident,” he said. “BJP leader from ward number nine of Baduria Municipality led the protest. He was instrumental in orchestrating the road blockade. I have asked the police to take action against him as per law.”
BJP leader Samik Bhattacharya dismissed the allegation.
“Whenever the government fails to control people’s unrest, it points fingers at the BJP,” he said. “This is nothing but a political conspiracy. We don’t support assault on policemen. But today’s situation went out of hand because the police failed to ensure law and order. It is their failure.”
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