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West Bengal: 15 cops hurt in clash over quarantine centre

Coronavirus (COVID-19): According to an official of the Asansol district police, seven vehicles were damaged and the police were also fired upon during the violence.

By: Express News Service | Kolkata | Published: April 15, 2020 1:21:50 am
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Coronavirus (COVID-19): Fifteen policemen were injured when violence broke out in Churulia village of Asansol district on Tuesday, reportedly after local residents started demanding that a quarantine centre set up in the village be shifted out.

According to an official of the Asansol district police, seven vehicles were damaged and the police were also fired upon during the violence.

A case was registered against unidentified people and the police have started an investigation, the official said.

The quarantine centre, a student hostel, was set up earlier in the week. Since then, according to the administration, at least 20 people had been admitted to the facility.

On Monday, health department officials discovered that six of the inmates had a fever. According to officials, the six were then transferred to the Asansol General Hospital.

Soon after however, local residents allegedly started demanding that the quarantine centre be shifted out. Police officials said on Tuesday morning, a mob of residents attacked the team stationed at the facility and the violence broke out. In retaliation, the police had to fire tear gas shells into the crowd, they said.

Fifteen policemen, including the Officer-in-Charge of Jamuria Police Station, Subrata Ghosh, were injured in this clash.

Officials said a large police contingent has now been stationed in the area which continues to remain tense.

Apart from readying dedicated hospitals for patients of COVID 19 in the state — Calcutta Medical College hospital, Infectious Diseases hospital in Beleghata, MR Bangur hospital and new campus of Chittoranjan cancer research institute in Rajarhat — the state government is also converting schools, colleges, indoor stadiums, hotels and guest houses are quarantine centres in the districts.

However, several instances of protests and objections against the centres — reportedly over fears of an infection — have emerged, officials said.

Earlier, in Bhangar block of South 24 Parganas district, local residents attacked the police allegedly over the location of a quarantine centre.

In another similar incident, one person died as two groups in Talibpur village under Panrui police station area of Birbhum district clashed with each other over setting up of a quarantine centre. Seven people have been arrested in connection with the violence.

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