Police station set on fire in Bengal amid protests against teenager’s death
Parts of Kaliyaganj in West Bengal’s North Dinajpur district turned into a virtual battlefield on Tuesday following violent protests by the local people against the alleged rape and murder of teenage girl last week.
Kolkata, April 25,2023: Parts of Kaliyaganj in West Bengal’s North Dinajpur district turned into a virtual battlefield on Tuesday following violent protests by the local people against the alleged rape and murder of teenage girl last week.
Tension was brewing in the area for some time now, which exploded on Tuesday. A local police station was set on fire by the angry mob, while a couple of police vehicles were also torched as the protesters turned violent. Some policemen have suffered minor injuries, sources said.
It is learnt that a local pressure group, reportedly backed by the BJP, started protesting in front of the Kaliyaganj police station on Tuesday. The protest was announced in advance, and the cops had raised a three-tier barricade in front of the police station.
The district police officers claimed that while the protest was peaceful initially, the situation turned violent after some of the agitators tried to break through the barriers. The police had to resort to lathi charge and firing of tear gas shells in a bid to bring the situation under control.
However, some of the protesters reportedly crossed the barricades, entered the police station and destroyed public property. They also set fire on the police station and torched a couple of police vehicles.
Meanwhile, a political slugfest has erupted in the state over the violence.
While the BJP has claimed that the police had resorted to unprovoked attack on the ‘peaceful’ agitation, the ruling Trinamool Congress has alleged the saffron forces of destabilising the law-and-order situation in the area over an unfortunate incident.
On April 21, the body of a 17-year-old girl was found in a canal in Kaliaganj. Alleging that she was raped and killed, the locals had blocked roads besides setting some shops on fire. A large police contingent had to be rushed to the area to bring the situation under control.
Four ASIs were suspended in connection with the minor girl’s death case, who were seen dragging the body of the teenage victim.
The victim’s family has already approached the Calcutta High Court demanding a CBI probe into the incident.