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Bengal: 20 policemen injured in clash with locals over allegedly trying to dispose of Coronavirus patient’s body

The residents of the area alleged that a police team arrived there with an earth mover after midnight to secretly dump the body of a person who died of the virus.

SNS | New Delhi |

As the Coronavirus pandemic has taken over the whole world in its grip, incidents of people not being able to get a decent burial are also coming out. In West Bengal’s Alipurduar district, at least 20 police personnel were injured in a clash with a mob which alleged that the authorities were secretly disposing of the body of a person who died due to Covid-19.

According to police, the incident happened on the banks of the Teesta river in Salkumarhat area in the early hours of Monday.

The residents of the area alleged that a police team arrived there with an earth mover after midnight to secretly dump the body of a person who died of the virus. As locals got wind of the alleged plans, the officials were met with resistance, they claimed.

During the clash, the policemen opened fire while leaving the spot, the locals alleged, injuring a youth.

“Three police vehicles were also torched by the mob. The policemen could only leave the area by a road that passes through the Jaldapara forest,” said officials.

Superintendent of Police (SP)Amitava Maity denied the allegations of the locals. While talking to journalists he said that a case has been lodged and they are trying to identify those behind the incident. He said it was being investigated who was behind the firing.

Director General of Police (DGP) Virendra, who was on a visit to Malda to supervise the preparedness to tackle coronavirus, said 20 policemen were injured in the mob attack and the condition of one of them was serious.

The DGP said the attack on police is unfortunate and if the locals had any grievances they should have taken it up with the authorities.

In Kolkata, meanwhile, 751 people were arrested in till 8 pm on Monday on various charges for violation of the total safety restrictions, police said.

“A total of 14 vehicles were also impounded during the period as the occupants could not cite valid reasons to bring out their cars,” they added.

West Bengal is reported to have 392 positive cases of Coronavirus, while the number of fatalities due to the pandemic has reached 12. 73 people have been cured/migrated/discharged according to Health Ministry’s data.

(With PTI inputs)