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Two dead in Murshidabad during anti-CAA protest

 Porters sitting outside closed shops during a protest in Kolkata on January 29, 2020.

Porters sitting outside closed shops during a protest in Kolkata on January 29, 2020.

At least two people were killed in a clash between two groups in Sahebnagar village of Jalangi block in Murshidabad district on Wednesday morning. One of the persons killed in the clash was identified as Anarul Biswas, 55, locals told The Hindu . Mr. Biswas was a muezzin (prayer caller) in the local mosque. The other person is identified as Salauddin, in his 20s. Three persons have been admitted in local hospitals, while three persons have been taken into custody.

‘Backed by all’

A Murshidabad-based citizen’s forum gave a bandh call in Murshidabad, a Muslim majority district, extending support to the national bandh of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board on Wednesday, challenging the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA). Murshidabad district committee member of the Communist Party of India-Marxist Unus Ali Sarkar, also a former MLA, said that people “irrespective of their political affiliation backed the bandh”.

The bandh backers were observing a sit-in at Sahebnagar market when local Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Tahiruddin Mondal arrived with his associates in a few vehicles. The TMC team came to “disperse the crowd”, said Mr. Sarkar. An eminent local journalist, not affiliated to any political party, said that the protesters “first attacked the TMC supporters” after an altercation. Mr. Mondal’s brother Mantu Mondal received bullet injuries. Later, the TMC team returned and allegedly opened fire on the protesters, killing two.

TMC’s position

Jalangi block president of the Congress Abdul Rezzak Mollah argued that if the bandh backers were to be dispersed, then “the administration should have done it”.

“When the TMC is opposing CAA, why is its leader randomly opening fire on innocent protesters?” he asked. The Bharatiya Janata Party too called it a “crisis of governance”.

TMC’s secretary general Partha Chatterjee refuted allegations. “Why should we resist an anti-CAA protest, if TMC is opposing it? One of our persons is shot. We need to find out who is going to gain from this violence,” Mr. Chatterjee said.

A civil society group, Bangla Sanskriti Mancha, quickly raised an alarm addressing the crisis on Wednesday morning. The Mancha’s president Samirul Islam said “police acted fast, averting flare up”.

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Printable version | Jul 1, 2022 5:50:42 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/2-dead-in-murshidabad-during-anti-caa-protest/article30683612.ece