The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Clashes, bandh and bombs erupt after defeat
- blast at temple Yagna

The battle of bat and ball between blue and yellow at the Wanderers on Sunday night spilled on to the streets of the city and its suburbs.

A temple was bombed in Baguiati and several taxi drivers of the local Citu-controlled taxi association were beaten up. The union has called a strike in protest and taxi services from Lake Town to Barasat will remain suspended on Tuesday.

According to Sudeb Das, a member of the Citu-controlled taxi association in Baguiati, four drunk youths from Baguipara came to the stand on Sunday evening and wanted to hire a taxi. “As the Indian team was batting, all the drivers were glued to the television set and refused to go. We asked them to hail a cab from the streets. The quartet went away, only to return with reinforcements. They ransacked our union office,” Das complained. The drivers alleged that several Congress leaders of Rajarhat had accompanied the gang.

Five taxi drivers were also injured in the scuffle. “We reported the matter to Baguiati thana but the police took no action,” said a member of the association. Police officials of Rajarhat and Baguiati refused to comment on the issue.

In another incident, while a yagna was on at a temple in support of the Indian cricket team, some men, frustrated at the rapid fall of wickets, lobbed a few bombs at the yagna site. Several persons were injured in the stampede that resulted. A portion of the temple was also damaged. The local traders’ association observed a bandh in the area on Monday to protest the act of vandalism.

According to Barasat’s circle inspector Ashoke Sinha Roy, the miscreants involved in the bombing were local youths who thought that the rituals were to blame for the rapid fall of the Indian wickets. The start of the yagna coincided with the fall of Sachin Tendulkar’s wicket.

Several other cases were reported from Lake Town, Dum Dum and Sodepur. In another incident, two groups clashed in Khardah over the match. When one group accused some cricketers of being involved in a betting racket, the other group protested vehemently. An altercation ensued. Officials of Khardah police station said the youths were let off with a warning. No arrests were made.

Sporadic clashes were also reported from Hatkhola and Nabapally, in Barasat, when a group damaged a World Cup replica. No arrests were made.

Pictures of Indian cricketers were burnt in Sodepur, Ghola and Dum Dum, creating tension in these areas. According to North 24-Parganas district superintendent of police Basudev Bag, police stepped up patrolling in Rajarhat to pre-empt further trouble.

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