Four policemen, including the officer-in-charge of Baduria police station, were injured in a clash with locals Wednesday in West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas district after the latter blocked a road alleging irregularities in distribution of ration to people amid Covid-19 lockdown. After the police tried to lift the blockade, the locals pelted stones at them. A huge contingent of police was sent to the spot to pacify the mob.
The administration, however, claimed that there are no irregularities in the distribution of ration among people.
“Our personnel received reports that some locals have put up a road blockade at ward number nine of Baduria Municipality. They rushed to the spot to lift the blockade. However locals pelted stones at us and four of our personnel have been injured. We are looking into the matter,” said a senior police officer of North 24 Parganas district. He said that a search in on to find out the people responsible for injuring the policemen.
#WATCH: Clash broke between Police and locals after they (Police) objected to the road being blocked by the locals. The locals were alleging improper distribution of ration material amid #CoronavirusLockdown in Baduria, North 24 Parganas. #WestBengal https://t.co/TnzIOM0Qhp pic.twitter.com/ffJRXKknr4
— ANI (@ANI) April 22, 2020
Locals said that police resorted to lathicharge to lift the blockade, which forced some people to pelt stones at policemen.
Baduria Municipality vice-chairman Dipankar Bhattacharya said, “The incident took place at ward number nine. I had a talk with the councillor of the said ward and he told me that there was no irregularities in distribution of ration. All have received ration there. There is some political conspiracy behind today’s incident.”
#WATCH: Locals clash with Police personnel after they (locals) had blocked the road alleging improper distribution of ration material amid #CoronavirusLockdown in Baduria, North 24 Parganas. #WestBengal pic.twitter.com/ceuxq6mcEl
— ANI (@ANI) April 22, 2020
State food minister Jyotipriya Mullick said, “I have heard about the incident. It is not related to public distribution system. The police will take action as per law.”
Meanwhile, amid the tussle between the Centre and West Bengal over lockdown violations, the Mamata Banerjee government yesterday assured cooperation to the two Inter-Ministerial Central Teams (IMCT) that landed in the state on Monday to assesses its handling of the COVID-19 situation.
The development comes a day after the Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla shot off a letter to Rajiv Sinha, the Chief Secretary, asking him to comply with the Union Home Ministry’s order on easing of restrictions in the state.
The Mamata Banerjee-led TMC government has been at loggerheads with the Centre after it was pulled up for not adhering to the lockdown measures and allowing certain relaxations despite several reminders. Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, too, had accused the state government of not following lockdown rules effectively.
At present, Bengal has 418 positive coronavirus cases in the state.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines