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Bengal school firing toll reaches 2; state education minister suspects RSS hand

Partha Chatterjee claimed that Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh cadres were brought from 'outside' to foment trouble and politicise the deaths.

Published: 21st September 2018 06:39 PM  |   Last Updated: 21st September 2018 06:39 PM   |  A+A-

Partha Chatterjee

West Bengal education minister Partha Chatterjee (File | PTI)

Express News Service

KOLKATA: A day after two former students of Darivit High School in Uttar Dinajpur district of West Bengal were shot dead in alleged police firing during a protest against appointment of Urdu teachers, state education minister Partha Chatterjee claimed that Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) cadres were brought from 'outside' to foment trouble and politicise the deaths. "RSS cadres were brought from outside to foment trouble in the school and politicise the unfortunate deaths," he said.

However, state BJP president Dilip Ghosh denied RSS involvement and demanded CBI inquiry into the incident.

Rajesh Sarkar died after being shot at allegedly by police on Thursday while another former student Tapas Barman succumbed to his injuries at North Bengal Medical College and Hospital in Siliguri on Friday. The school witnessed pitched battles between students and police on Thursday after students protested appointment of Urdu teachers and demanded Science, Computer and Bangla teachers instead.

However, Uttar Dinajpur superintendent of police Sumit Kumar said: "Seven people have been arrested in connection with the incident of which some are BJP supporters. We have not yet received the post-mortem reports to know the cause of death. There was a violent mob at the school which had illegal firearms and bombs so we don't yet know whose guns killed the two people. Police had not opened fire on the protesters."

On the other hand, education minister Partha Chatterjee removed district inspector of education Rabindra Kumar Mondal from his post on Friday after the incident and said the education ministry was in the dark over the appointment of Urdu teachers.

"A DI has no rights to appoint teachers on their own. Education ministry was kept in the dark. We had no information about the appointment. We are also scrutinising the role of the school principal who did not seek any permission for appointing new teachers," he said.

Despite the police washing off its hand from the incident, victims' relatives claimed that cops with masked faces had shot the two students with silencer-fitted guns."My son was supervising construction work at our shop outside our residence when he was shot by a policeman who was wearing blue uniform and had his face covered with a black cloth," deceased Tapas Barman's mother said.

On the other hand, deceased Rajesh Sarkar's niece Bhiti Sarkar said that police used silencer-fitted guns 'to silence' his uncle. "Policemen tore off clothes of girl students and verbally abused them. When my uncle protested against it, they shot at him with a silencer gun," she said. Another witness Tumpa Biswas said police had shot at Rajesh from a police vehicle. 

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