| Sheikh Manjur Ali and Salema Begum, victims of the Behala clashes, await police action on Monday. Picture by Pradip Sanyal
Basudebpur in Behala is on the boil following CPM vs CPM clashes over a post-Kali puja function that turned rowdy.
At least 20 residents of the area, including a local committee member of CPM, were injured as allegations of women being molested and men being assaulted were traded and the Rapid Action Force (RAF) was called in to keep the peace.
Complaints have been lodged with Behala police station by CPM local committee members against 10 men — said to be CPM supporters —but no arrests have been carried out.
On Monday, some local CPM activists brought out a procession in the area protesting police inaction.
The trouble was traced back to Friday night during a cultural programme in Basudebpur, near Masjidpara, organised by Basudebpur Boys Club, when some youths started dancing in a vulgar manner.
“When we protested, the youths from Jahajbaripara next to Basudebpur attacked us with bamboo sticks, iron rods and bricks,” said Sheikh Manjur Ali, who suffered head injuries and had to be administered stitches.
The clashes continued for for hours, leaving several seriously injured. “I was trying to flee when a youth hit me on the left arm with an iron rod,” said Salema Begum, sporting a bandage on Monday.
Local CPM workers led by Nurul Islam managed to restore some order but fresh trouble broke out on Sunday evening, after which RAF had to be called in and a police picket posted.
“Youths from Jahajbaripara attacked us again with iron rods and bricks. When our women came out of houses and tried to step in, they were roughed up and even molested. Nurul Islam was punched in the face when he tried to pacify the youths,” said a resident of Basudebpur.
CPM’s local committee member Nurul Islam was apparently targeted by the Jahajbaripara youths known to be CPM supporters, for having protested their ways — of gambling, drinking and eve-teasing.
Jahajbaripara residents denied the charge. “It was they (Nurul Islam and co.) who were responsible for the flare-up,” said Sheikh Siraj Ali.
CPM councillor Ratna Roy Mazumdar met party workers and then said: “We must find a solution as such an incident should not recur.”
Additional superintendent of police (Industrial) D.P. Singh said: “Investigations are on and action will be taken.”