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Nov 15, 2012 at 08:31am IST

WB: Villager killled in firing over a land dispute, police face criticism

Kolkata: West Bengal police is facing criticism after police firing left one dead and one critically injured at Tehatta in Nadia. It started with a dispute over land which led to a stand off and a road blockade.

“The police resorted to lathicharge. They lobbed tear gas shells, they kept firing bullets,” said an eyewitness. The mob torched 4 police vans. 8 policemen were also injured. The police claim they fired in self-defence. But the admission came 6 hours after the incident and an initial denial.

Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Surojit Kar Purokayastha said, “500-600 people attacked SDPO's home. His wife and children were there. SDPO Tehatta was also attacked. Police fired in self-defence.”

With Panchayat elections just around the corner, the incident has already taken political colours with the Congress, the BJP and the Left keeping the pressure on the Trinamool government.

Om Prakash Mishra, Gen Secretary, WBPCC, said “We want an independent enquiry.” Suryakant Mishra, Opposition leader, said, “We are sending a delegation.”

For now a magisterial enquiry has been ordered. The big question is, were standard procedures followed and did the police need to fire on the crowd at all?