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Monday, January 28, 2013

TMC-CPM clash Leads to NH blockade for 12 hours

Malda, Dec 4, 2012: North and South Bengal was virtually separated for more than 12 hours owing to blockade on National Highway-34. Two separate blockades following a clash between CPM and TMC at Kaliachak had jeopardized the traffic on road since last night. Thousands of passengers heading to Siliguri or Kolkata and were to reach in the morning were stranded by over 12 hours. The loaded lorries too became standstill for hours. The situation is yet to be normalized fully.

It is learnt that a Night Football Tournament was arranged at Baliadanga last night. Local DYFI leader Arzu Sk and his followers were the organizers. Around 8 pm a group of youths led by Bokul Sk, a TMC leader, attacked the stage and a clash broke out. The match was spoiled and the Baliadanga ground soon turned to a battlefield. However, being outnumbered Bokul and his followers had left the spot leaving two motorbikes. The bikes were set into fire. Later they returned with a huge number and the bombings started from either side of the NH-34. no wonder, the traffic on the highway stopped. Miscreants even fired targeting the rival groups. Police from Kaliachak police station reached the spot to control the situation around 10.00 pm.

After the clash was controlled, CPIM followers started blocking the road at Baliadanga in demand of arresting the culprits. On the other hand TMC followers also blocked the road near Sujapur with the demand of arresting Arzu and others. With two separate blockades the traffic was totally paralysed. Efforts from police did not yield any result. Finally the blockades were lifted early morning but by then the stranded vehicles increased to huge number.

Political leaders including the Ministers passed the buck on police. “It was the responsibility of police to normalize the situation by arresting the culprits”, said Sabitri Mitra, Minister in Charge of Women Welfare. She added, “After Bokul joined our party he was threatened by local Congress and CPM. I had informed the police earlier but of no avail.” Minister of Tourism Krishnendu Choudhury said, “Kaliachak has become a headache with its deteriorating law and order. I’ll soon call a meeting with the police super to take a stock of the situation.”

Sabina Yeasmin, MLA of Congress said, “Kaliachak has become a haven of the anti socials. All sort of crimes are taking place but police are inactive. I fear it is the indulgence of the administration has worsened the situation.” Disgusted local people also agitated against police this morning.

Police Super Jayanta Pal said, “Yesterday’s clash was between two factions who had a tiff over a land. We have begun the probe and the situation is under control.”

However, the worst sufferers were the passengers taking journey on this route. Monoronjon Roy, for example, started for Malda from Behrampore this morning. But the two hours’ distance took more than seven hours and he reached in the evening. Similarly, Silguri bound passengers who took the bus last night from Kolkata could not reach even after 18 hours.    

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