West Bengal, Jun 20, 2019 : Two people were shot dead and four injured on Thursday in clashes between two groups in West Bengal’s Bhatpara, around 30 km from Kolkata, Hindustan Times reported.
The two groups attacked each other with crude bombs and fire arms. The police had to resort to firing to control the situation. The clashes started around 10:30 am and the roads turned empty in no time and shopkeepers quickly downed their shutters.
One of those who died was identified as Rambabu Shau, a street vendor. He was hit by a bullet on his head, a relative of his said.
BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya blamed the Trinamool government in the state and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for the clashes. “Mamata Banerjee has lost her mental balance since the Lok Sabha elections. Clashes are taking place all over the state. I have got information that two people fell to police bullets,” he said.
Vijayvargiya said a BJP delegation would visit Bhatpara and meet the family members of the deceased. “We will also send a report to the Centre,” he said.
District police officers were tightlipped on the violence. Ironically, on Thursday a new police station was supposed to have been inaugurated in Bhatpara that was put off due to the clashes.
Barrackpore BJP Lok Sabha MP Arjun Singh blamed the police for the deaths and the failure to restore law and order in the area.
“The man was killed by police bullets. Which police manual directs the police to fire at someone’s head?” Singh asked. He also alleged that the police officers were primarily responsible for their failure to rein in the violence.
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee convened a meeting with the chief secretary, home secretary and additional director general (law and order) to discuss the situation in Bhatpara. Rapid Action Force and Quick Response Teams were deployed to bring the situation on the control.
Former Trinamool Congress minister Madan Mitra blamed Arjun Singh and his supporters men for the violence.
“Arjun Singh and his followers are indulging in politics of violence. If the situation does not improve in 24 hours, the toughest measures need to be adopted,” said Mitra who unsuccessfully contested the Assembly bypoll in Bhatpara last month.
Bhatpara and Kankinara areas were hit by violence for a few days since the last phase of the Lok Sabha elections on May 23.
The area turned restive after four-time TMC legislator Arjun Singh switched over to the BJP before the polls and defeated the ruling party candidate in the Barrackpore Lok Sabha constituency.