Bengal’s Bhangar returning to normal

Kolkata, Jan 27 (IANS) The situation in West Bengal’s Bhangar, which has been on the boil due to violent protests over “forcible land acquisition” for a power grid project, was returning to normal as villagers on Friday removed all blocks on the roads to end the hardship faced by common people.

The agitators on Thursday started blocking the road at various places and felled tree to obstruct roads demanding the release of Communist Party of India-Marxist Leninist (CPI-ML) Red Star leader Sarmishta Choudhury.

Choudhury was arrested allegedly in connection with the Bhangar violence which claimed two lives last week.

On Wednesday, the state government handed over the Bhangar violence case to the West Bengal Criminal Investigation Department (CID). The district court on Thursday remanded Choudhury to CID custody till February 3.

“We have decided to remove all the blocks as common people were facing hardship. We will take out a protest rally in Kolkata on January 30,” said CPI-ML Red Star member Alik Chakraborty, adding that villagers are ready to relaunch the protest if administration and police apply forces to clampdown the protest.

Chakraborty, however, said the villagers were “open for discussions” with the government.

Incidentally, Trinamool Congress MLA Sabyasachi Dutta and his aides entered the area on Thursday and removed all the blocks.

His action sparked another round of agitation by villagers in the evening at Bhangar.

Bhangar, known for its history of political violence, has been on the boil since last week over “forced” acquisition of 16 acres of farmland — spread over the villages of Khamarait, Machhi Bhanga, Tona and Padmapukur — by the state government for the Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd.