Blast Shocker: Now activists barred from interacting with villagers in Birbhum

Birbhum blast:Activists to keep away!
Kolkata, Nov 2: After preventing opposition parties from visiting Birbhum district's violence-hit areas, the West Bengal government on Sunday, Nov 2, dissuaded some social activists from talking to the villagers.

Three people died of bullet injuries and several others sustained injuries Oct 27 in Makhra village during a clash between activists of the ruling Trinamool Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The state administration subsequently clamped orders prohibiting any gathering or movement of groups of people in the area, preventing the BJP, Congress and Left Front delegations from visiting the place.

Association for Protection of Democratic Rights (APDR) members Bolan Ganguly and Sailen Mishra Sunday visited Makhra and were talking to the villagers when they were asked to leave the village and were taken to Panrui police station.

"The villagers were telling us about their plight when a strong contingent of police arrived and said we have violated the prohibitory orders. While we have not been arrested, police have brought us to Panrui police station," Ganguly told IANS.

Ganguly said the condition of the villagers was very pitiable and they were living under the shadow of fear.

The activists were later let off after talking to with senior officers.

While a Left delegation was taken into preventive custody Oct 29 by police, a central BJP team too suffered the same fate a day later while trying to enter the village. All of them were later released.

A Congress team led by state unit president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury scuffled with police Saturday but was not allowed to enter the village.

Meanwhile, the district administration handed over cheques of Rs.2 lakh each to the families of the three killed durig the violence.

"As per the directions of the state government, we have handed over cheques of Rs.2 lakh to families of each of the victims of the clash," district magistrate P. Mohan Gandhi said.

Accompanied by Inspector General of Police (Western Zone) Siddh Nath Gupta, Gandhi surveyed the entire area to ensure peace and order are not disturbed. A huge contingent of armed police has been camping in and around the area.

With opposition BJP and Left Front seeking his intervention, Governor K.N. Tripathi Saturday said he has suggested to the Mamata Banerjee government to take appropriate action addressing the plight of people of Makhra.

"I have sent some suggestions to the chief minister (Mamata Banerjee) and I hope the government will take some action in the matter. The concerns of the people have been intimated to the chief minister," Tripathi said.


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