Restore normalcy in Bhatpara within 72 hours: CM to cops
Kolkata: Expressing her displeasure over violence at Kankinara and Bhatpara in North 24-Parganas where two persons were killed, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday instructed the police top brass to restore normalcy in the areas within 72 hours. Tanmay Ray Chaudhuri, Commissioner of Police in Barrackpore Police Commissionerate was removed on Thursday evening with Manoj Kumar Verma replacing him. Verma was posted as IGP, Darjeeling.
A senior official in the state Secretariat, on condition of anonymity, said that Banerjee has instructed the police to arrest all those involved in the violence irrespective of their party affiliations. "There are a number of miscreants in the area who are moving scot-free even though their names figure in the wanted list of the police. The Chief Minister raised questions regarding the police's role in bringing them to book," the official said.
The Chief Minister has also questioned the involvement of outsiders in the incident and asked why the police have been unable to prevent their entry. She had instructed police to conduct naka checking both on land and waterways as well. She expressed her displeasure over the police's failure in the recovery of arms and ammunition as per intelligence inputs. In recent times, there has been more than one occasion when bombs have been hurled and gunshots fired resulting in unprecedented violence in these areas.
Banerjee chaired a meeting to take stock of the situation and it was under her instruction that DG Virendra went to Bhatpara late on Thursday afternoon. The DG, who was supposed to inaugurate a new police station in Bhatpara in the morning, was compelled to return earlier in the day from the area which was at a stone's throw distance from the building.
Two persons were killed in Bhatpara after a major clash took place between two unidentified groups on Thursday morning. Six police personnel have also been reportedly injured in the incident while the cops had to fire tear gas shells and few rounds of bullet in the air.
Authorities have imposed Section 144 in Bhatpara and Jagatdal areas of the North 24-Parganas district following the clashes. Route march has also been carried out in the area. According to sources, hours before the inauguration of the new Bhatpara police station, one Ram Babu Shaw was shot dead within a few hundred metres of the building which triggered massive violence in the area with crude bombs being hurled by miscreants. During the clash, another youth, identified as Dharambir Shaw, and several others were also injured. Later, Dharambir was declared brought dead at the hospital.