Violence-hit Bhatpara wakes up to uncanny silence
Violence-hit Bhatpara in West Bengall's North 24 Parganas district on Sunday wore a deserted look as very few people stepped out amidst prohibitory orders in the area.
Shops remained closed as an atmosphere of panic and apprehension prevailed in the area under the Barrackpore industrial belt, three days after clashes that claimed two lives and left at least four people injured.
Kankinara market, which otherwise bustles with buyers on Sunday mornings, remained empty with very few people moving out of their houses.
"We are unable to run our business normally due to the disturbance in the area. For the last 35 days, we could hardly open our shops as miscreants are hurling bombs every now and then," a local businessman said.
A number of police pickets have been set up at important crossings near Ghoshpara and Kalyani highway to prevent outsiders from entering the area. Police and Rapid Action Force (RAF) personnel carried on with their area domination work.
A three-member delegation, comprising Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MPs S.S. Ahluwalia, Satya Pal Singh and Vishnu Dayal Ram, visited the house of the two deceased - Rambabu Shaw and Dharambir Shaw - in Bhatpara on Saturday afternoon.
Fresh tension erupted shortly after the delegation left the area as a group of locals agitated against the police accusing them of inaction and pelted stones at the personnel on duty.
Police resorted to a baton charge on two occasions to disperse the mob resulting in one person sustainimg a head injury.
The region, which falls under the Barrackpore parliamentary constituency, has been tense since the election results were announced on May 23.
Former Trinamool Congress (TMC) MLA from Bhatpara Arjun Singh, who defected to the BJP just before the elections, won the Barrackpore Lok Sabha seat, while his son Pawan Singh won the Assembly by-election.
Protesting against the police brutality, BJP workers led by local MP Arjun Singh, held a demonstration outside the Barrackpore Police Commissionerate on Friday. IANS