TMC faction feud affects students' exam preparation

TMC faction feud affects students' exam preparation
Violent clashes among Trinamool Congress factions, a regular feature in Bengal’s political landscape, continues to mar the lives and education of students in the state.

In violence-hit Birbhum, nearly 400 students appearing for the Secondary board exams have been forced to spend their nights outdoors, without a chance to brush-up their subjects. Attacks on their houses are common, since their families back one of the warring factions of the party. When assailants do not find their target, family members often end up staring at the guns aimed at them.

Pintu Das from Kirnahar fled his home and spent time at the open fields ruing each wasted minute.

It was a coincidence that the latest round of clashes began on February 1, the first day of the exams conducted by West Bengal Board of Secondary Education.

That morning,  clashes began between Nanoor MLA Gadadhar Hazra and his rival Ketugram MLA Sheikh Shahnawaz, whose faction is commanded by his brother Kajal.

Their rivalry dates back to 2012 with skirmishes over control of a few Panchayat projects but grew steadily into a turf war.  Aware that the clashes are an internal matter of the ruling party, police usually stayed away from the factional feuds. So the letter by 40 students of Kirnahar in January to the sub-divisional police complaining that they were unable to prepare for the exams in the shadows of guns and bombs elicited no response.  In fact, SDPO AK Ghosh said he was yet to receive the letter. Claiming the situation was “under control”, Ghosh said, “We’ll intensify patrolling so students can study and sit for their exams without any trouble.”
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