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Bengal’s Birbhum dist boils up over cut money issue, 9 arrested

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Kolkata, July 11: Fresh clashes erupted between two groups in Birbhum district of West Bengal on Wednesday over the issue of 'cut money', prompting the police to increase vigil in the area. As of now nine persons were arrested, administrative sources said.

Crude bombs were hurled indiscriminately by the two sides at Sahapur village in Sadaipur police station area near Siuri, with the locals claiming that the miscreants were supporters of the ruling Trinamool Cogress (TMC) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), they said.

Bengal’s Birbhum dist boils up over cut money issue, 9 arrested

Police officers, too, came under attack while trying to stop the clash, the sources claimed.

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Reportedly, this comes after a day explosives were found in Birbhum's Rampurhat, more were found in Bolpur's Panrui even as Trinamool Congress and BJP clashed in Birbhum's Suri amid reported throwing of bombs. According to locals, a group of villagers on Tuesday evening agitated before TMC leader Enamul Haque's residence, demanding the return of 'cut money' which they had allegedly given to get benefits under government schemes.

The situation, however, turned violent on Wednesday. A huge contingent of armed forces has been rushed to Sahapur village in the wake of the clashes, Birbhum Superintendent of Police Shyam Singh said.

"Nine persons have been arrested in connection with the clashes. The situation is now under control, but police are maintaining a strict vigil in the area," he added.

'Cut money' is the commission charged illegally from common people by alleged TMC functionaries in return for delivery of services and benefits under government schemes.

The issue has rocked the state over the past few weeks after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee issued a diktat asking party leaders to return the 'cut money' they had taken from people.

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