Mob beats CPI(M) men, torch dealer house, vehicles

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Burdwan, 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, 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 km from Kolkata, official sources said.

Burdwan District Magistrate Manish Jain said the clashes between the mob and partymen occurred at Nababhaat, about 15 km from Burdwan town, when a group of local CPI(M) men arrived at the troubled spot to rescue the dealer.

Mr Jain said the injured were mostly the CPI(M) men, who were admitted to Burdwan Medical hospital. However, the MLA of Burdwan North, was shifted to a nursing home.

The mob also set fire and damanged scores of two-wheelers and four-wheeler whatever came on their way after the 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 due for many months. As words exchanged and temper rose, the mob also swelled, which torched the dealer's 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 Piyush Pandey said additional deployment was despatched to the trouble spot. He said a police camp was also set up to instill confidence in 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 people - one in Birbhum district and the other in Burdwan - were killed in police firing when they were staging demonstration in front of the residences of the ration dealers protesting irregular Public Distribution System.

UNI

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