Two people were killed and three were injured after violence erupted during protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act and the proposed National Register of Citizens in West Bengal’s Murshidabad district on Wednesday, PTI reported. The injured were taken to Murshidabad Medical College and Hospital.
The incident took place in the district’s Jalangi block after an argument broke out between two groups about the amended citizenship law, an unidentified senior police officer told PTI.
“Two persons died and we have detained a number of people,” Sub-Divisional Police Officer of Jalangi Sandip Sen told The Indian Express. “Our investigation is on. Police personnel are on the spot and the situation is under control now.”
One of those killed was identified was 55-year-old Anarul Biswas, local residents said, according to The Hindu. Biswas was a muezzin, or prayer caller, at a mosque in the neighbourhood. “The bandh was observed as the Muslim Personal Law Board gave a protest call,” said Congress’ Jalangi Block President Abdul Rezzak Mollah, adding that people with varied political affiliations joined the protests.
The police said a group identifying itself as the “CAA Birodhi Ganatantrik Mancha”, or Anti-CAA Democratic Forum, had called a bandh in Sahebnagar village. The protestors had reportedly blocked streets and enforced the bandh in the local market.
Trinamool Congress Jalangi North Block President Tahiruddin Mondal reportedly arrived to “disperse the crowd” when the protestors were conducting a sit-in at a market in Sahebnagar. Following this, a scuffle broke out and the Trinamool leader allegedly opened fire at the protestors, News18 reported. However, local Trinamool leaders denied the charges and accused supporters of the Congress and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) of unleashing violence.
A local journalist in the area told The Hindu that the Trinamool leader opened fire after protestors attacked him and his supporters.
Trinamool Congress MP Abu Taher denied the party’s involvement in the clash and alleged that the violence was by supporters of Congress and Communist Party of India (Marxist), PTI reported.