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Bihar Police accused of demolishing nine huts in West Bengal's Malda

Picture used for representational purposes only. File

Picture used for representational purposes only. File | Photo Credit: PTI

Bihar Police has allegedly demolished nine huts in West Bengal's Malda district along the inter-state boundary and also beaten up several residents including women when they protested the drive, officials said on Sunday.

Malda district administration claimed the incident happened in Sadlichak gram panchayat area in Harishchandrapur 2 block on the West Bengal side of a road that marks the inter-state border on Friday night and bulldozers were used to demolish the huts.

"Nine houses belonging to three families have been demolished in West Bengal. Higher authorities have been informed and the matter was discussed with the Katihar district administration of Bihar," Malda District Magistrate Rajarshi Mitra said.

The uprooted people, who claimed to have been residing on the government land for generations, lodged a police complaint and alleged that a TMC supporter Ganesh Pramanik had bribed Bihar Police personnel to carry out the demolition drive to clear the land which shares border with his property.

They alleged that Pramanik frequently quarrelled with the affected people asking them to vacate the government land.

"We are living under the open sky and are drenched in rain and haven't eaten food as Bihar Police destroyed our stocks. We need help," an affected person said.

Maldaha Uttar BJP MP Khagen Murmu, who visited the spot, said, "This village and the mouza falls within West Bengal. Bihar is on the other side of the road. All of a sudden without any provocation, Bihar Police demolished these huts on the West Bengal side." "These poor people have been living here for decades. I have come to know that adjacent to the land on which these demolished huts stood, there are lands of some TMC members and they wanted the area to be cleared and bribed Bihar Police to do the job. I demand strictest punishment for the accused policemen," the local MP said.

Harishchandrapur TMC MLA Tajmul Hossain, however, dismissed allegations against the ruling party in West Bengal.

"Ganesh Pramanik, against whom allegations are being made, is not an office-bearer of the party. He is a mere supporter of the TMC. The party is in no way linked or responsible for any action allegedly conducted by him on a personal level," he said.

Malda TMC general secretary Jambu Rahman said that the affected people were residing in West Bengal and the action shows NDA-ruled Bihar is not adhering to the federal structure of the country, an issue often flagged by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

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Printable version | May 22, 2022 1:29:06 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/bihar-police-accused-of-demolishing-nine-huts-in-west-bengals-malda/article65446520.ece