Police clashes with farmers, 13 injured

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Balurghat, West Bengal, Feb 27 (UNI) In all 13 people were injured, when police clashed with farmers demanding more space at the Gangarampur Agricultural Coooprative Marketing Society cold storage here, in South Dinajpur district.

About 4,000 farmers gathered at the cold storage office to demand more space from the cooperative authorities.

The injured, including some police personnel, have been admitted to the sub-divisional hospital.

Incidentally, the cooperative had stopped selling bonds for the year on February 24, following saturation in the storage capacity.

The cold storage has a maximum capacity of two lakh potato sacks, out of which five per cent is kept reserved asked for the government.

On February 25,500 agitated farmers for more space in front of the cooperative office. The five per cent space that is reserved for the government was allotted to them.

The next day, about 1,000 farmers protested against the decision and demanded that they also be alloted more space. However, the cooperative authorities were unable to do so as there was no space left to be given.

Tension sparked today when the number of agitating farmers that swelled to 4,000, broke into the office and vandalised office property.

Police intervened and urged them to discuss the issue peacefully.

However, the angry mob pelted stones at the police personnel.

SP Kalyan Kumar Mullick said when his force was unable to control the situation, they resorted to lathicharge and fired tear gas to disperse the crowd. The mob turned so violent that the police had to fire bullets in the air.

Additional District Magistrate Krishna Chandra Mondol was now present on the spot and Gangarampur Sub-divisional Officer Tapas Kumar Bagchi was personally monitoring the situation.

Presently, the situation has been brought under control and about 30 people have been arrested. Rapid Action Force have been brought in from the headquaters.

UNI XC LL BDP AS1651

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