One person was killed at Tehatta in West Bengal’s Nadia district on Wednesday when police opened fire on a group of villagers staging a protest, after a dispute between two communities over a plot of land. Nine people, including eight policemen, were injured in the clashes that followed.

According to locals, the villagers had put up a blockade at the Houlia More in Tehatta demanding permission to organise Jagadhatri Puja at a particular venue. When the police could not get the protesters to disperse, the sub divisional police officer (SDPO) of Tehatta, along with a few police personnel, climbed on to the roof of a house and fired at them. The protesters then set a few police vehicles on fire and the violence soon spread to adjoining areas.

The police, however, claimed that they fired in self-defence. “There was a dispute between two communities and the police had gone there to settle it … They were attacked and were forced to defend themselves,” said Additional Director-General (Law and Order) of Police Surajit Kar Purakayastha.