Barrackpore, Nov. 12: Faction rivalry flared up in Kanchrapara, in North 24-Parganas, this evening, leaving one dead and razing five houses, including that of CPM local committee secretary Radha Ballabh Dey, to the ground.
One body was found but police did not confirm his identity till late at night.
“I have received information that two persons are trapped in two other houses, but it is not possible for me to confirm whether they are dead or alive,” said Basudeb Bag, district superintendent of police, before leaving for the spot — about half-an-hour from Barrackpore town — around 8.30 pm.
The trouble that broke out this afternoon between two CPM factions at Kanchrapara, under Bijpur police station, can be traced back to clashes in nearby Charapol on Monday in which party activist Niranjan Sarkar, popularly known as Niru, was wounded. The bone of contention was the local fishery business.
Niru succumbed to injuries this evening. “As soon as news of his death spread, a section of CPM activists assembled in front of Dey’s house. The mob accused the local party secretary of sheltering Niru’s murderers and urged him to hand them over to the police,” said an official of Bijpur police station.
Dey denied the involvement of any of his supporters in Niru’s death. This enraged the mob which went on the rampage.
Five houses — Dey’s and four others said to belong to his close supporters — were torched.
Four fire tenders were initially pressed into service to control the blaze and additional forces — in the form of a police posse and RAF personnel — left the Barrackpore barracks around 9.30 pm.