Two killed in Bengal in clash during anti-CAA protest

West Bengal: Two killed in clash during anti-CAA protest

Members of the Christian community along with social activists hold placards and Indian flags as they take part in a rally to protests against the Indian government's Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), in Kolkata. (PTI Photo)

Two persons were killed and three got injured in West Bengal’s Murshidabad district on Wednesday when a protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and NRC turned violent. The incident took place after the protesters called for a strike in the area. When local Trinamool Congress (TMC) workers allegedly opposed the strike the two sides came to blows and shots were fired resulting in two deaths.

While the protesters alleged that miscreants backed by TMC opened fire on them district TMC leadership denied the allegation.

Locals said that an apolitical organisation Nagarik Mancha called for a strike against CAA and NRC in the Sahebnagar area of Jalangi Police Station. The protesters started a sit in demonstration in the local market at around 7 am. Soon after several TMC workers and leaders arrived at the spot and asked the protesters to withdraw the strike, locals said.

“Soon both sides came to blows and bombs were hurled. But the TMC cadres were forced to back down after facing stiff resistance from the protesters. The TMC cadres fired indiscriminately while fleeing which resulted in killing two persons and injuring three,” said a local resident.

According to sources in the district police Anirudh Biswas(60) and Maqbool Seikh (19) died in the firing. They also said that three persons have been arrested in the case so far.

When a large police contingent reached the spot enraged protesters started shouting slogans against the police and accused them of inaction.

Speaking to DH TMC Murshidabad district president Abu Taher Khan denied any involvement of his party workers in the incident.

“ Our party has not given any direction to oppose the strike against CAA. If at a local level any organisation calls for a strike why should our workers actively oppose it,” Taher told DH.

Taher also said that he was unable to understand the reason behind the violence.

“ I don’t know whether the clash took place due to old animosity or was it a fight between two local groups. I have informed the police about it and they will take action as per law,” said Taher.