One person was killed and nine others, including eight policemen, were injured in violence that rocked Tehatta in Nadia district today, forcing police to open fire in "self-defence". Police, however, did not confirm till evening whether the person was killed in police firing.
"There has been an unfortunate incident at Howlia in Tehatta over a land dispute between two communities," ADG (law and order) Surajit Kar Purakayastha told reporters in Kolkata.
"The matter was about to be resolved soon, but a large crowd on Tuesday obstructed the highway, attacked the police and the SDPO. It also attacked the SDPO's residence where his wife and child stayed." Purakayastha said police first resorted to lathicharge, fired teargas shells and rubber bullets. They then fired three rounds in self-defence to disperse the unruly crowd, he said.
Asked whether the victim, identified as Ashok Sen, was killed in police firing, Purakayastha said the postmortem report is awaited and the nature of the injury will be known only after that. Another person, who was critically injured, was admitted to hospital, he said, adding that eight policemen also suffered injury in the violence.
Five persons were arrested and a magisterial inquiry ordered, apart from processions and meetings in the area being banned, he added.
WBPCC chief Pradip Bhattacharya asked chief minister Mamata Banerjee to "discipline" her police and demanded an impartial probe into the incident. Leader of Opposition Suryja Kanta Mishra said the situation there did not warrant police firing. "Problems cannot be solved by police firing and the inflexible attitude of the government will not help solve any problem," he said.
Nadia district magistrate Abhinav Chandra said Rapid Action Force and additional forces were deployed in the area, though the situation is now stable. The district magistrate said a local organisation wanted to organise Jagaddhatri puja at a disputed place.
About a year ago both communities had decided not to organise any function in the disputed area. The organisers of the puja were not given the permission and asked to move to a spacious plot at about 55 ft away. But on Tuesday the agitators blocked the road demanding that they be allowed to organise the puja at the disputed site, he said.