Cops fire at protesters in Nadia, 1 dead

Cops

One person was killed and at least eight persons injured as violence erupted at Tehatta in Nadia this morning, during which police reportedly fired "in self-defence" at a protesting crowd.

Locals were protesting because the police were reportedly denying them permission to hold Jagadhatri Puja at a ground in Tehatta's Haulia village.

The incident comes just eight days after alleged police firing in Dubrajpur in Birbhum district, that left 33 people injured.

According to locals, there had been dispute between two communities over a piece of land in Haulia, which is vested with the state government. A local puja committee had been organising Jahadhatri Puja at the ground for the last eight years. However, this time, another community objected to the puja at the venue.

Ujjwal Biswas, minister for youth welfare from Nadia district, rushed to the spot. "The land is vested with the government. There has been a long-standing dispute over the land between Hindu and Muslim groups. When the Hindu groups wanted to organise Jagadhatri Puja on the ground, the Muslim groups sought permission for namaaz there. We held an all-party meeting in the presence of the SDO and SDPO. The issue was resolved. But local CPM leaders provoked the mob, which caused today's violence," said Biswas.

According to sources, members of the Muslim community wanted the ground to be used as an Eidgah for namaaz.

It was learnt that in the all party-meeting, held a couple of weeks ago, it was decided that the puja would be shifted to a nearby ground. Trimurti Club, which organises the puja, had reportedly agreed to this.

However, the organisers claimed that despite repeated visits to Tehatta police station, they had still not got permission for the puja at the alternate venue. So they held a demonstration today and blocked Karimpur-Krishnanagar state highway at 8 am.

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