KOLKATA: The cycle of post-poll violence in West Bengal continues. In the latest round, two persons, including a teenager, were shot dead and five others sustained injuries when Trinamool and BJP supporters BJP clashed on Thursday morning at Bhatpara in Barrackpore Lok Sabha constituency.Both sides fired indiscriminately and hurled bombs at each other. This continued for over an hour. The local police was vastly outnumbered and swung into action after reinforcements arrived. The policemen lobbed tear gas shells to disperse the trouble-makers.The deceased men was identified as Rambabu Shaw, 17, and Dharmaveer Shaw, 40, both BJP activists.
BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya claimed the two died in police firing. “Police are supporting the attackers. If anyone is responsible for the violence, it’s Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. She cannot accept the (Trinamool’s) defeat in Barrackpore. We will send a report in detail to the Union home ministry,” he said.
Police, however, refuted the allegation. “Around 15 rounds of bullets were fired in the air to disperse the unruly mob,” said a police officer.The clashes broke out hours before the West Bengal DGP was scheduled to inaugurate the newly built Bhatpara police station, barely 200 metres from the spot where theincident took place. He was headed to Bhatpara to inaugurate the police station but went back to his office because of the violence.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee convened an emergency meeting with the chief secretary, home secretary and additional DGP (law and order) in the wake of the violence and asked the DGP to visit the spot.
In Bhatpara’s adjoining pocket Kankinara, a police vehicle was targeted and 10 policemen were injured when the attackers pelted stones at them.
“Considering the gravity of the situation, Section 144 has been imposed in Bhatpara-Kankinara area. We urge people not to react to any provocation,” state home secretary Alapan Bandopadhyay said.