RANIGANJ: Heavy police force was deployed today in the Raniganj area of Bardhaman West district, a day after clashes broke out between two groups over a Ram Navami procession, killing one person and injuring two police officers, a district official said.
Peace has been restored with additional police forces patrolling the area, District Magistrate Shashanka Shetty said.
"We have received reports that one person was killed in yesterday's incident. Senior police officers, who are camping here in the aftermath of yesterday's violence, are monitoring the situation very closely," he added.
State Labour Minister Moloy Ghatak, who rushed to Raniganj last evening, said Mahesh Mandal, a man in his mid-50s, was hacked to death during the clashes.
Ghatak, however, assured the local people that the situation had been largely brought under control by the police.
Tension ran high in the region yesterday after a Ram Navami procession, organised by the BJP, allegedly tried to enter an area, where members of the minority community lived in large numbers, the police had said.
A clash ensued between two groups even as the police tried to intervene, a senior officer had said on the condition of anonymity.
Asansol-Durgapur Deputy Commissioner of Police Arindam Dutta Chowdhury lost a hand during the violence when the agitators hurled a bomb at him.
Officer in-charge (OC) Pramit Ganguly also received head injuries, the officer had said.
BJP MP and Union minister Babul Supriyo said the attack was a "premediated" one, meant to hurt him.
The violence in Raniganj came a day after one person was killed and five police personnel were injured in a similar fight between two groups in Purulia.
Clashes were also reported from the Kandi area of Murshidabad yesterday when an armed Ram Navami procession tried to enter a police station. At least 10 people were injured in the incident.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has directed the director general of police (DGP) to instruct all superintendents of police (SPs) to take strong action against those who carried arms in the rallies.