Two people were killed and at least three others sustained bullet injuries when some locals opened fire and hurled crude bombs on a group of protesters demonstrating against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and National Register of Citizens (NRC) in West Bengal’s Murshidabad district.
The deceased have been identified as Anarul Biswas (55), who died on the spot, and Salauddin Sheikh (17), who succumbed to his injuries on way to the hospital. The three injured have been admitted at the hospital.
The incident happened near the Sahebnagar market in the Jalangi police station area of the Murshidabad district in West Bengal.
The protesters claim that the goons belonged to the Trinamool Congress (TMC). The incident took place a little after 9 am. The protest was part of an all-India bandh called by the Bahujan Kranti Morcha (BKM).
Locals said the demonstration was being held by members of the ‘CAA Birodhi Nagarik Mancha (Citizen’s Forum Against CAA)’, a new organization formed about 20 days ago. It was holding a demonstration in different parts of Jalangi, demanding revocation of CAA.
On Wednesday morning, TMC’s Jalangi (north) block president Tohiruddin Mondal arrived at the protest site with some of his associates who, the protesters said, opened fire. “Mondal and his men came in five cars and attacked us,” said Imdadul Haque, one of the protesters.
Tohiruddin’s brother Mantu Mondal has also sustained bullet injury. He is admitted in Murshidabad Medical College and Hospital.
“Two people have died in the firing. We have detained a few people. Raids are being conducted to nab the culprits,” said Sandip Sen, a police officer.
Jalangi legislator Abdur Razzak, who won the seat for the Communist Party of India (Marxist) but later defected to the TMC, said, “For the last 15 days some Congress and CPI(M) men are holding anti-CAA demonstration under the banner of a new organization. On Wednesday morning, they were trying to close down shops at the Sahebnagar market as part of an all-India strike. Hundreds of students, who wanted to organize Saraswati puja, were facing problems because of this protest. When Tahiruddin Mondal reached the scene and requested them to leave the market area, they attacked our men with firearms and bombs. I have heard that two men have died. The deceased is not associated with any political party,” said Razzak.
“TMC chief Mamata Banerjee is protesting against CAA and passing a resolution in the state assembly while her party leader is killing people who are against the law. This incident has proved that her party men are supporting the Bharatiya Janata Party,” Murshidabad Congress spokesperson Jayanta Das said.
Congress MP from Murshidabad Adhir Ranjan Chaudhary said, “Locals of Sahebnagar were protesting peacefully against Citizenship Amendment Act. Suddenly, TMC goons attacked them with bombs; 1 person died in the incident. At least 4 people sustained injuries and were admitted to the hospital.
Adhir Ranjan Chaudhary, Congress MP from Murshidabad, WB: Locals of Sahebnagar were protesting peacefully against Citizenship Amendment Act. Suddenly, TMC goons attacked them with bombs; 1 person died in the incident. At least 4 people sustained injuries&were admitted to hospital https://t.co/S8J8JYdf1s pic.twitter.com/s4ZiKFUlz1
— ANI (@ANI) January 29, 2020
Salauddin’s father, Nur Islam Sheikh, meanwhile alleged that his son was shot by the pradhan (head) of the local gram panchayat controlled by the TMC. “The TMC pradhan, Milton Sheikh, fired at my son from the roof of a house for supporting the bandh”.