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2 killed in Murshidabad in clash over protests against CAA,

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Press Trust of India Baharampore(WB)
Two persons were killed and three others injured on Wednesday in a clash between TMC and a civil society group in Murshidabad district over a protest against CAA and the proposed NRC prompting opposition parties to question the credibility of the ruling party on its stand on the contentious law.
The clash broke out at Jalangi after a hot argument between local TMC leaders and a civil society group which had called a shutdown against the Citizenship Amendment Act and the proposed country-wide NRC , the police said.
A civil society platform 'Nagarik Mancha' (citizens platform) with mainly Muslim community representatives and those from various political parties was formed in the area recently.
The 'Nagarik Mancha' members were sitting in a dharna at Sahebnagar market area when the president of TMC Jalangi block committee reached the spot and asked them to withdraw the shutdown, the police said.
The protestors disagreed and it led to the two sides coming to blows and even hurling crude bombs at each other. Shots were also fired killing two and injuring three others, the police said.
Several two-wheelers and cars were damaged and set on fire during the clash, the police said.
One of the persons killed in the clash has been identified as Anarul Biswas, a muezzin (a man who calls Muslims to prayer from the minaret of a mosque) of the local mosque, the police said, adding the identity of the second person is yet to be ascertained.
The injured have been rushed to Murshidabad Medical College and Hospital, where doctors said the condition of one of them is serious.
A huge police contingent reached the spot to maintain law and order and are conducting raids to nab the culprits, the police said.
Local TMC MP Abu Taher denied the party's involvement in the clash and alleged that the violence was by Congress and CPI(M) supporters.
"I have requested the police to look into the incident. The culprits should be immediately arrested," he said.
Senior Congress leader and MLA Manoj Chakraborty said that the party was not involved in the incident and demanded a judicial inquiry into it.
"The incident only reflects TMC's sincerity about its protest against CAA. On one hand it says that it is against the act and on the other its men are shooting at protesters," Leader of the Congress in Lok Sabha, Adhir Chowdhury said.
Murshidabad is Chowdhury's stronghold and he represents it in the Lok Sabha.
Echoing him, CPI(M) Politburo member Mohammed Salim said TMC and BJP are two sides of the same coin and the ruling party in Bengal lacks credibility on its fight against CAA and NRC.
TMC secretary general Partha Chatterjee termed the allegations levelled by the Congress and CPI(M) as "baseless and politically motivated".
The Muslim-majority district had witnessed large-scale violence and arson during the anti-CAA protests in the state in December last year.
West Bengal became the fourth state after Left-ruled Kerala, and Punjab and Rajasthan, where the Congress is in power, to have passed a resolution on January 27 against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. The state assembly had on September 6, 2019, passed a resolution against NRC.

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First Published: Jan 29 2020 | 8:10 PM IST

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