The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Lathicharge at immersion

Tension simmered in Behala after 47-year-old Shantana Das suffered injuries at Pathak Para on Monday night, during a clash between two groups of immersion processionists. Seven people were arrested and Das had to be removed to MR Bangur Hospital.

At around 11.30 pm on Monday, residents of Pathak Para, in the Behala police station area, were readying their idol for immersion when they noticed a group of youths, all from an adjoining locality, drinking in an adjacent factory compound.

“The youths were passing lewd comments at the gathering of women, who were to be part of the immersion procession. A few elderly persons walked up to them to protest. The drunk youths paid no heed and continued taunting the women,” complained a resident of the area.

A few local lads tried to force them out of the factory compound after several attempts to stop the intoxicated youths from teasing the girls.

“An argument erupted into a fight and the drunken youths started pelting stones at the gathering. The immersion party turned around and attacked the youths. In the melee, Das was injured,” said an official of the local police station.

“The police arrived and lathicharged the mob to bring the situation under control. The injured woman was shifted to hospital, where her condition is said to be stable,” said Humayun Kabir, deputy superintendent of police (town).

Local residents complained that Das suffered injuries in the lathicharge, but deputy superintendent Kabir denied the allegations and said that she was injured much before the police arrived.

“She must have been hit by a stone while the clash was on. When our men reached the spot, they rescued her first. They resorted to a lathicharge later to disperse the mob,” Kabir added.

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