Baharampore (WB)/Kolkata: One person was killed and at least 13 others, including nine policemen, were injured in a clash after a mob blocked National Highway 34 in Murshidabad district of West Bengal, demanding restoration of electricity line to a village.
After talks failed, police resorted to lathi charge to disperse the mob and then fired in the air at Jhikri under Farakka police station area, as the villagers pelted stones.
“To safeguard public property and after being attacked by bombs, we had to fire in the air. After the crowd dispersed, we found a body 200 metre from the spot. It had multiple injuries,” Additional Director General of Police (law and order) Anuj Sharma said in Kolkata.
“Prima facie something happened when the crowd was retreating. An enquiry is on,” he said.
Twenty-one people were arrested. Nine policemen, including the inspector-in-charge of Farakka Police Station, were injured in the clash, Sharma said, adding police found bomb remnants and two live bombs from the spot.
Besides the policemen, least four villagers were injured in the clash. All of them were admitted to a hospital, police said.
Two police vehicles, 15 buses and a car of a local government official were also damaged in the clash. The deceased has been identified as Jamal Sheikh (32) of Balida Pukur village bordering Jhikra village where the locals were demanding restoration of electricity line.
There was no electricity in Jhikra for the last few days and the agitated people started demonstration on NH-34 at around 9.30 AM.
Sheikh was passing by the area where people blocked the highway which linked the southern and northern parts of the state, District Superintendent of Police Mukesh said, adding the cause of death could be ascertained after post-mortem.
“Strict action will be taken against those who attacked the policemen and damaged public property,” Sharma said.
The blockade, which continued for around four hours, have put traffic out of gear. The situation is now under control, officials said.