At least 20 police personnel were injured in a clash with a mob which alleged that the authorities were secretly disposing of the body of a person who died due to COVID-19 in West Bengal's Alipurduar district.
The incident happened on the banks of the Teesta river in Salkumarhat area in the early hours of Monday, police said.
Locals alleged that a police team arrived in the area with an earth mover after midnight to secretly dump the body of a person who died of COVID-19. As locals got wind of the alleged plans, the officials met with resistance, they claimed.
As the clash continued, the policemen opened fire, injuring a youth, while leaving the spot, the locals alleged.
Three police vehicles were also torched by the mob. The policemen could only leave the area by a road that passes through the Jaldapara forest, officials said.
Denying the allegations of the locals, Superintendent of Police Amitava Maity told reporters that a case has been lodged and they are trying to identify those behind the incident.
He said it was being investigated who was behind the firing.
Director General of Police Virendra, who was on a visit to Malda to supervise the preparedness to tackle coronavirus, said 20 policemen were injured in the mob attack and the condition of one of them was serious.
He said the attack on police is unfortunate and if the locals had any grievances they should have taken it up with the authorities.
Meanwhile, 751 people were arrested in Kolkata till 8 pm on Monday on various charges for violation of the total safety restrictions, police said.
A total of 14 vehicles were also impounded during the period as the occupants could not cite valid reasons to bring out their cars, they said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)