DURGA MANDAP VANDALISED IN NORTH BENGAL

Clash breaks out at South Dinajpur pandal
Statesman News ServiceBALURGHAT, Oct. 6: People belonging to two communities clashed at a Durga puja pandal at Dewoor, under Kumarganj police station in South Dinajpur district this morning, forcing police to fire in the air, burst tear gas shells and make a baton-charge to bring the situation under control.The South Dinajpur district magistrate and the superintendent of police were among some 20 persons hurt in during the commotion. The police arrested 26 people including four women over the incident. Section 144 of the CrPC has been promulgated in the area and two platoons of BSF have been deployed to help the police keep the situation under control.The incident caused tension in other areas too, with the residents of Baul, which is close to Dewoor, blocking the Balurghat - Malda state highway for three hours after the incident.
Police resorted to a baton-charge to clear the roadblock. In retaliation, the agitators attacked the police and damaged the Balurghat police station IC's vehicle. At least five persons were injured in the police action. All shops and establishments closed down after the Dewoor incident, demanding the arrest of the culprits. According to Mr Bilash Kanti Sarker, secretary, Dewoor Baroari Puja Committee, unknown persons shut off the illuminations of the puja pandal in the wee hours today and hung up the severed leg of a cow at the pandal."Upset over the incident, the locals converged at the puja site demanding the arrest of the culprits," he said,adding that instead of going after the culprits, the police used force on the protestors. "More than 20 agitators were injured and several were arrested," he added. "The police have arrested 26 persons in connection with the incident," said the South Dinajpur SP Mr Swapan Bandopadhyay Purna Patro. The DM, Mr Swapan Chatterjee, said that Section 144 has been promulgated in the area and the situation was now under control.

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