KOLKATA: One student was killed and four others were injured after police allegedly opened fire on students at a school during a protest against the appointment of an Urdu teacher, at Islampur in Uttar Dinajpur district of West Bengal on Thursday afternoon. Three policemen were also injured in the incident.
The deceased was identified as Rajesh Sarkar. He succumbed to his injuries after being brought to Islampur sub-divisional hospital. The other injured are under treatment. The students of Daribhit High School near Islampur were protesting against the appointment of an Urdu teacher at their school since Tuesday stating that they did not need the Urdu teacher and instead demanded teachers for other subjects.
#BREAKING: One #student killed, several injured as police open #fire during #protest against #Urdu teacher appointment at a #school in Uttar Dinajpur district of #WestBengal. @BJP4Bengal promises to take #agitation forward. @NewIndianXpress— Aishik Chanda (@AishikC) September 20, 2018
A verbal agreement was also reached between the students, local villagers and administration on Wednesday after the local Block Development Officer (BDO) reached the area and promised that the Urdu teacher won't be appointed, sources revealed. However, the Urdu teacher was seen at the school on Thursday morning which sparked off protests and students blocked the entrance to the school.
Following this, police cordoned off the area, sources revealed.
While the police claimed that the protesting students attacked the cops following which they lathicharged and lobbed tear-gas shells to break the protests, students claimed that police fired on them unprovoked. "We were holding a blockade at the entrance of the school protesting against Urdu teacher appointment but police suddenly opened fire on us. They even manhandled and verbally abused the women," a student said.
However, Islampur MLA Kanhaiyalal Agarwal said that police told him that they did not open fire on the protesting students. "I have seen the dead body and he was hit at the back. But local police station SHO told me that police did not open fire. Everything will be clear only after post-mortem," he said.
Police officials could not be reached for a comment. On the other hand, BJP has promised to widen the agitation. "The incident shows how police are acting at the behest of the ruling party. Implications of this incident will be felt across the district," district BJP President Shankar Chakraborty said.