The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Bandh call in clash aftermath

May 17: Police opened fire after a 250-strong crowd of Trinamul Congress supporters stormed Bagda police station in North 24-Parganas this morning to seek the release of party colleagues arrested for post-poll violence.

At least 25 people were injured in the clash between the police and Trinamul workers, with two sustaining serious bullet wounds. The Trinamul supporters were demanding the release of six partymen arrested last evening.

The SUCI today called a 48-hour Bengal bandh from August 27 in protest against the continuing panchayat poll-related violence and to “put a stop to the CPM’s terror tactics”. SUCI state secretary Provash Ghosh said the two-day bandh would also cover the hike in power tariff, transport fares, hospital charges and education fees.

Trinamul leader Jyotipriya Mullick alleged that the police, under instructions from the CPM, were arresting party supporters wherever they were celebrating victory.

Trouble began last evening after Trinamul supporters took out a victory rally at Beraberi village, where the party had retained the gram panchayat.

“The Trinamul Congress did not take permission from the police for the rally. The party’s supporters were bursting crackers and one of the crackers went off near the house of a CPM supporter. Angry CPM workers protested and a clash broke out between the two groups,’’ said R. Rajshekharan, additional superintendent of police, North 24-Parganas. Police officials reached the spot and arrested six Trinamul supporters.

This morning, about 250 Trinamul supporters arrived at Bagda police station to demand the release of their colleagues. The party alleged that policemen manhandled Balai Biswas and Bikash De, two local leaders. Since the police paid no heed to their demand and manhandled their leaders, the Trinamul said, the crowd turned violent and tried to attack the policemen inside.

“They threw stones at the police station and our personnel. One constable was seriously wounded in the brick batting,” said district police superintendent Basudeb Bag.

Sub-divisional police officer Biswaroop De was hit on the head, Bag added.

The police lathicharged the protesters who threw back bricks, injuring 11 policemen.

Ten Trinamul Congress supporters were arrested for the attack. The party has called a 24-hour bandh in Bagda on Tuesday in protest against “police atrocities’’.

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