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2 dead and many injured as villagers clash with authorities in Bhangar, Paschim Banga

2 people died and several more were injured at Bhangar in Paschim Banga’s South 24 Parganas district, as villagers were protesting about a power project that has been indertaken by the Powergrid Corporation of India.

A 16 acre plot of land was acquired a few years ago to construct a power grid. The project is close to completion, but villagers are protesting and now violence has begun at the place. The situation has been very very tense since Monday and protestors burnt buses and police vehicles on Tuesday. They also uprooted trees and blocked roads with them. Stones and other brickbats were hurled at the policemen for many hours. Some villagers were arrested, but were released immediately on the instructions of the State Secretariat.

Chief Minister of Paschim Banga, Mamata Bannerjee dispatched senior leaders of the Trinamool Congress (TMC), Mukul Roy, who is a Rajya Sabha MP and Abdur Rezzak Mollah, who is a State Government Minister to speak to the protestors. The villagers it seems want nothing short of scrapping of this project as they do not want live high tension cables of electricity going from the top of their lands. State Power Minister Sovandeb Chatterjee later released a statement saying that work on the project was suspended.

The protestors said that the two people who died did not die due to police firing, but were shot by goons of the ruling TMC. Protesting villagers brings back memories of the Singur agitation led by Mamata Bannerjee against the Tata Nano plant. Hence, the state government was keen to diffuse the situation ASAP.

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