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1 killed in Salt Lake clash

Political clashes have spilled over to the city by-lanes with trouble breaking out in Kulipara, just off Salt Lake, this morning.
One person was killed and four others, including an 11-year-old girl, critically injured in a clash between Trinamul Congress and CPI-M supporters.
Trouble broke out last night when CPI-M supporters allegedly stopped Trinamul Congress workers from participating in an immersion procession. An altercation broke out which took dreadful proportion later at night.
According to locals about 200 supporters of CPI-M allegedly raided various houses and shot at Trinamul supporters, including 47-year-old Balai Mondal, who succumbed to his injuries at NRS Medical College this morning.
Tension prevailed in the morning when a group of 20 supporters of Trinamul Congress retaliated. A gunfight ensued in which three CPI-M men were injured. A bullet shot at a nearby chawl, allegedly by CPI-M supporters, hit 11-year-old Sushmita Mondal who has been admitted to the NRS Medical College.
The ADG (law and order), Mr Surajit Kar Purakayastha, confirmed that five people were injured and one person succumbed to bullet injuries. He, however, said that two other injured persons, including the 11-year-old girl, were discharged after first aid.
In the afternoon, a large number of Trinamul Congress supporters, led by Mr Sabyasachi Dutta, vice-chairman of Bidhannagar Municipality, and Ms Krishna Chakraborty, CIC health, visited the area. They chased away some of the armed men roaming the area who were later seen jumping into the bheries to save themselves.
The Trinamul supporters threatened the families of CPI-M men and even ransacked some of the houses.
Police allegedly did not come to the locals’ rescue. Mr Haran Patra, a local, alleged that when they complained to officers at the local police camp last night, they were chased away and beaten up. Some women also said that the policemen who were in an inebriated state after the immersion last night, also beat them up. According to Mr Sabyasachi Dutta, who had called up the police camp last night, the cops said that they cannot take any action so late at night.
The Bidhannagar ASP, Mr Debabrata Das, said: “The condition was brought under control by the officers of the police camp and Bidhannagar South police station last night. The officers had been patrolling the area throughout the night and morning. Trouble ensued after the patrolling party left.” The allegation that the CPI-M men fired bullets in presence of the policemen will have to be investigated, he added.
Mrs Ila Nandi, councillor of Ward Number 17 where the clashes took place, said that the supporters of the Trinamul Congress brought 300-400 outsiders and attacked the CPI-M supporters stating that they will not be allowed to stay there.
Later, the Leader of the Opposition, Mr Partha Chatterjee, Union minister of state for shipping, Mr Mukul Roy, and chairman of the Bidhannagar Municipality, Ms Anita Mondal, also visited the area. Mr Partha Chatterjee compared the situation in the area with Lalgarh and said that such atrocities by the CPI-M cannot be put up with. Reacting sharply to the incident Trinamul chief, Miss Mamata Banerjee, expressed her dismay at the Centre for its “inaction while Bengal is heading for a Constitutional crisis.” “Would the Centre have sat tight had Congress supporters been killed and attacked by CPI-M cadres in place of our supporters?” she asked. The Salt Lake incident, she alleged, was one more glaring example of the CPI-M’s orchestrated move to hunt down Trinamul activists.

Soma Basu

Soma Basu

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