Burdman, Oct 7 (UNI) Agitated over not getting essentials including kerosene from a ration dealer, a mob of 300 men today torched the house of the dealer, beat him badly and fought a pitched battle with local CPI(M) men in which about 15 were injured including MLA Pradip Tha at Nababhaat village, some 100 kms of Kolkata, official sources said.
Burdman District Magistrate Maninsh Jain said the clashes between the mob and partymen occurred at Nababhaat, about 15 kms from Burdman town, when a group of local CPI(M) men arrived at the trouble spot to rescue the dealer.
Mr Jain said the injured were mostly the CPI(M) men, who were admitted to Burdaman Medical hospital. However, the MLA of Burdaman North, was shifted to a nursing home.
The mob also set fire and damanged scores of two-wheeler and four-wheeler whatever came on their way after clashes.
The trouble began when some people gathered near the ration shop of Shaikh Fakir Mohammed at Nababhaat village demanding kerosene and other essentials, which had been dues for many months. As words exchanged and temper rose, the mob also swelled, who torched the dealer house nearby and beat him up badly. As chaos prevailed, CPI(M) men from local party office arrived at the spot and clashes broke out.
Superintendent of Police Pijush Pandey said additional deployment was despatched to the trouble spot. He said a police camp was also set up to instill confidence in the people.
The incident happened at a time when a ration dealer Bimal Kundu yesterday allegedly committed suicide at his Barakumira village in Gangajal ghanty in Bankura.
Earlier, two persons - one in Birbhum district and the other in Bardhaman - were killed in police firing when they were staging demonstration in front of the residences of the ration dealers protesting irregular Public Distribution System.