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Three ‘targeted’ on suspicion of NRC data collection in Bengal’s Birbhum

Residents of Amba village in Margram surrounded the houses of Babu Sheikh, Lakshmi Bibi and Rimpi Khatun and started vandalising them.

By: Express News Service | Kolkata | Published: January 24, 2020 3:15:09 am
West bengal, NRC data collection, NRC protests, National Register of Citizens, difference between NRC and NPR, indian express Sheikh, Bibi and Khatun were associated with the programme, Internet Saathi, a joint initiative of Google India, Intel and Tata Trusts. (File)

A day after a woman’s house was set on fire in West Bengal’s Birbhum over the suspicion that she was collecting data for NRC, three more people were targeted in the same district on Thursday.

Residents of Amba village in Margram surrounded the houses of Babu Sheikh, Lakshmi Bibi and Rimpi Khatun and started vandalising them. However, police arrived at the spot and brought the situation under control. All three of them have been provided protection at Margram police station.

Sheikh, Bibi and Khatun were associated with the programme, Internet Saathi, a joint initiative of Google India, Intel and Tata Trusts. The programme aims to train people in villages who can, in turn, help educate other women from their village in the use of Internet.

Police said four people were arrested on Thursday for allegedly setting on fire the house of a 20-year-old woman in Birbhum’s Gourbazar village on Wednesday. Chumki Khatun and her family are also under police protection.

Police have, however, denied that the incident was linked to NRC. Khatun has been working for an NGO on a contract. In partnership with an online firm, the NGO was training rural women to use smartphones and Khatun collected some general data as part of the training, local sources said.

Rampurhat’s sub-divisional police officer Soumajit Barua said, “We didn’t find any link to the NRC. The incident happened over some village matter. We have initiated an investigation, the situation is now under control.”

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