TWO PERSONS were killed and five injured in fresh clashes in Bhatpara, in North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal on Thursday morning. While the BJP alleged that Ram Babu Shaw (17) and Dharamveer Shaw (40) were killed in police firing, the state police department said “some criminals and outsiders” had “hurled bombs and used illegal firearms”. Section 144 has been imposed in the area.
“Some criminals and outsiders created a law and order problem in Bhatpara today in which two persons lost their lives. Police were also attacked,” the state police department tweeted.
“Some unscrupulous persons are trying to do communal propaganda on Bhatpara incident. This incident was purely criminal in nature in which some criminals hurled bombs and used illegal firearms. Police is taking strong action against the perpetrators of violence. We request all not to get provoked by the motivated propaganda,” it tweeted.
Police sources said both the victims had bullet injuries, and Ram Babu Shaw, a hawker, had also been hit on the head by a crude bomb. Their bodies have been sent for post-mortem. According to hospital sources, three of the injured had bullet injuries, while the other two had been hit by crude bombs.
The violence broke out hours before DGP Virendra Kumar was scheduled to inaugurate a new police station in the area, which was set up in view of the prevailing law and order situation. Bhatpara has witnessed a series of clashes between BJP and TMC workers since last month, in the run-up to the polls.
DGP Kumar, who later visited the spot, said six police personnel were also injured in the violence.
Blaming the state government, BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya said: “In our party MP Arjun Singh’s Lok Sabha constituency, incidents of violence are taking place since morning. There is a basti there from where bombs are hurled and bullets are being fired… in the presence of police. We have heard that two persons have been killed in police firing. Only one person is responsible for this, and that is Mamata Banerjee. We have decided to send a central delegation of our MPs to Bhatpara. The team will meet family members of those who have been killed. We will submit a full-fledged report to the home ministry.”
Local TMC leader Madan Mitra said the “violence is being triggered by Arjun Singh and his people”. Jyotipriya Mullick, TMC’s North 24 Parganas district president, said, “This is planned violence whose mastermind is Arjun Singh. Since the day he joined BJP, he has been triggering violence in the area”.
The state police chief, chief secretary and other top officials held an emergency meeting to take stock of the situation. “The state administration is looking at the Bhatpara violence very seriously. Some anti-social elements and outsiders are behind this. The Chief Minister and senior police officers visited the spot recently. A new police station has been set up and is functional from today. RAF and police reinforcements have been sent. Section 144 has been imposed in Bhatpara, Jagdal and nearby areas,” Home Secretary Alapan Bandopadhyay said. The state home department later issued a notification on the transfer of some IPS officers including Barrackpore Commissioner of Police Tanmoy Ray Chaudhury. He will be replaced by senior IPS officer Manoj Kumar Verma, who was posted as IGP in Darjeeling.