Residents of Bhangar on Friday reimposed a road blockade in the area, after police arrested a local man for allegedly indulging in “criminal activities”. Police said it had been keeping tabs on locals who were “triggering violence” in the area since January, following a protest against the setting up of a power grid station after alleged forceful acquisition of land.
They claimed that the man, Kesmat Laskar (36), was involved in such “criminal activities”. “Kesmat Laskar has around 30 cases registered against him,” said South-24 Parganas SSP Sunil Kumar Choudhary.
Laskar was arrested by Kashipur police and produced before a court, which remanded him to police custody for 12 days.
He has been booked under section 143 (unlawful assembly), 144 (unlawful assembly with arms), 146 (rioting), 151 (assembly to cause a disturbance of the public peace), 152 (assaulting obstructing public servant), 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public function), 188 (disobedience to order promulgated by public servant), 189 (threat of injury to public servant), 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC and under the Police Act, said a police officer.
The arrest triggered panic in the area, with locals taking out a protest rally and blocking Haroa Road in Paddapukur for a few hours. The villagers felled trees to block the roads.
Further, the area reportedly witnessed a clash between Trinamool Congress workers and locals.
While local Trinamool leaders claimed their party office was damaged, the protesters blamed TMC leaders for “creating trouble in the area”.
The protests against the power station in Bhangar had turned violent in January after two locals had died, allegedly when the police had opened fire. The police, however, have maintained that some “outsiders” had opened fire.
The CID, which is investigating the case, had told the Calcutta High Court on Thursday that it was on the verge of identifying the persons behind the killings.
Justice Joymalya Bagchi had earlier expressed his displeasure at the lack of progress in the investigation into the deaths.
He had directed ADG (CID) to appear before the court and explain what progress had been made. Following this, ADG (CID) Rajesh Kumar had appeared before the court and submitted that the investigation is nearing its end.