Scores were injured including three policemen as residents of two localities pelted stones and glass bottles and attacked each other with sticks in Manicktala of north Kolkata since last night. Police detained 28 people in connection with the violence and later arrested 15 of them including four women. They have been charged under different IPC sections.
The trouble began between the supporters of local MLA and state minister Sadhan Pande and local councillor of ward 32, Shanti Ranjan Kundu since last night. Insiders said, the clash was an attempt to gain control over the area booming with real-estate business.
According to sources, the trigger for the clash was a quarrel between two men of different localities Subhas Pally and Krishnapally over a football match. The two localities are separated by a railway track. Babai Das, a resident of Krishnapally, had gone to buy bread at Subhas Pally,when a youth identified as Kamal hurled an expletive on him. It led to a verbal duel between the duo. When Babai protested, he was allegedly assaulted by the youth.
When residents of Krishnapally came to know about this, they picked up stones from the railway tracks and began to hurl them. Soon, both sides were pelting stones and glass bottles and assaulting each other with sticks. Cops rushed to the spot and pacified the protesters, late last night. However, tension erupted again on Monday morning.
Sensing the situation to go out of control, Rapid Action Force (RAF) was rushed to the spot, who had to resort to baton charging to bring the situation under control. Several protesters from both the sides were injured. The rail passengers were also not spared with protesters hurling stones at passing trains.
Minister Pande and councillor Kundu tried to downplay the incident. “Such small things often happen in the party but there is no rivalry between us and we all stand one and united,” said the minister. The councillor also echoed the same.
The Opposition, however, lashed out at the ruling party. This is what happens when criminals infiltrate a political party, Leader of the Opposition Abdul Mannan said at the gate of the state Assembly on Tuesday. Things have come to such a pass that the police are not in a position to take action, he added.