Sensation gripped a village in East Burdwan after three Italian women were spotted in two neighbouring blocks. The locals protested apprehending the spread of coronavirus in their localities. Italy, one of the worst coronavirus affected countries, has imposed a complete lockdown.

Shubhra Chatterjee, block development officer, Bhatar, accompanied by block medical officer Dr Sanghamitra Bhowmik, arrived at Jamboni village in Mahata Panchayat area and rescued the foreigners from the villagers.

A section of local residents had already started agitating against the Italians there. They were given police escorts and were shifted to a Jharkhand destination.

The BDO said, “We had to shift them elsewhere for their safety as some locals were misbehaving with them.” Franca Casetti, Enchunella Brazeria and Francesca Karoza had arrived in India from Italy 14 days ago and had checked in through the Kolkata Airport on 27 February.

Franca said, “We were duly examined by the Indian officials at the Airport and were given fit certificates. We cannot understand why we were asked to vacate the village.” The Italian women had been to Dangapara village in Ward No.4 of Guskara Municipality where they visited a home.

Then they moved to Jamboni village in the neighbouring Bhatar block where they had been invited to a craft exhibition by an NGO. “They were our chief guests and all of them were given OK certificate by the health officials. People still created chaos here and our foreign guests had to vacate the venue, which was humiliating for both the guests and the organisers,” said Sharmistha Singha Roy, the key person of the NGO.