The haystack set afire in the CPM-Trinamul clash at Hindustan More in Mathabhanga on Wednesday. Picture by Main Uddin Chisti
Cooch Behar, May 20: Mathabhanga continued to remain tense after an 18-year-old youth, said to be an SFI member, was speared to death in a clash between Trinamul Congress and CPM supporters at Hindustan More in Cooch Behar last night.
The CPM said Bibek Barman had been murdered without any provocation by Trinamul supporters at Hindustan More, 35km from here.
Educational institutions remained closed in Mathabhanga subdivision today as the SFI called a bandh to protest against Bibek’s murder.
This morning, the haystack and the kitchen of the house of a Trinamul Congress leader’s brother were set on fire. The incident prompted the administration to clamp prohibition on assembly under Section 144 in Mathabhanga and adjacent Sitalkuchi.
The area had been tense since Monday evening when a Trinamul Congress supporter, Hafizur Rehman, was hacked to death in Ghoksadanga, close to the spot where Bibek was murdered.
Sasadhar Barman, a district committee member of the CPM, said the Trinamul Congress had called a 12-hour bandh in Mathabhanga to protest against Hafizur’s death yesterday. “Our party members remained indoors throughout yesterday, while Trinamul held demonstrations. When the bandh got over, our men came out and they were attacked,” Sasadhar said.
He added that the Trinamul Congress had attacked their men without provocation around 10.30pm yesterday.
“Bibek had gone out of the house, looking for his father, Amulya Barman, after hearing that had been caught in the attack. “He was brutally singled out and speared repeatedly,” Sasadhar said.
What followed were sporadic clashes between the two groups.“We have arrested seven persons, including six Trinamul supporters, in connection with the murder. We are closely monitoring the situation,” said Cooch Behar police superintendent Devendra Prakash Singh.
Trinamul district president Rabindranath Ghosh said Bibek had been killed by the CPM.