Bengal’s Bhangar Lifts Road Blocks After 10 Days Of Violent Protests

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Bhangar: 10 days after two people were shot dead at Bhangar in West Bengal during protests against a power grid, villagers on Friday lifted road blocks in the area, saying protests would continue, but differently.

They have planned a mega-march in Kolkata, which will be held on Monday.

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The roll back happened after deployment of a huge police force and a warning by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

Alik Chowdhury, a CPI-ML Red Star leader whose wife has been arrested for allegedly provoking violence at Bhangar, announced the end of road blocks on Friday at a press meet at 11 am.
Around noon, 300-odd policemen marched into Bhangar in yellow helmets, flak jackets, some carrying tear gas, a few, guns.

“People want us here,” said an officer, when asked they are here.
Villagers welcomed the police, to keep alleged Trinamool Congress troublemakers out.

“Yesterday, Sabyasachi’s and Gabbar’s goons fired four bullets, threw five bombs, chased people away yesterday. Before that, Arabul’s henchmen were running amok,” said Ahab Mollah, a resident of that village.

Indeed, Sabyasachi Datta, a legislator, had to be whisked off by the police in the face of public anger. Local MLA Abdul Rezzak Mollah and Arabul Islam were also not able to enter the area.

Ms Banerjee has obliquely warned both sides.

“It is not the job of political parties to open fire. And those who set homes and police cars on fire to protest something must stop. Soon, they will have to pay money for damages caused,” Ms Banerjee said.

Bhangar wants Ms Banerjee to announce if the controversial power grid will be moved out. So far, only Trinamool leaders have confirmed so. Else, police route marches may become the new normal at Bhangar.

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