This Article is From Sep 23, 2018

Islampur Clashes, Student Deaths Risk Sparking New Political Flashpoint In Bengal

The BJP has called for a bandh in West Bengal protesting the death of two youth in clashes with the police.

Two youth were killed in clashes at North Dinajpir in West Bangal on Friday


  • BJP won't be allowed to organise shutdown, Mamata Banerjee said
  • Families of the students killed have refused to cremate their bodies
  • Second postmortem possible to establish what kind of bullets killed them
North Dinajpur, West Bengal:

The BJP in West Bengal has called for a bandh on September 26, protesting the death of two students at Islampur in the Uttar Dinajpur district last Friday. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who is in Milan in Italy on a government trip, however, said the party won't be allowed to organise the shutdown. The BJP and its ideological mentor Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh are creating trouble and the offenders should be arrested, she said. 

The Chief Minister also said the police did not open fire at Islampur during the clash with students and were not responsible for the death of two boys.

On the controversial appointment of teachers at a local government school that led to the clashes, Ms Banerjee told news agency PTI, "If BJP has no problem with Sanskrit teachers; what is the problem with Urdu? I appeal to students not to fall into their trap."  

The students of Darivit High School had claimed that the school needed teachers for math, science and humanities and not languages. But the district inspector or DI of schools had sent two language teachers instead. The DI has been suspended. 

Yesterday, youth wings of Left parties protested the death of the two boys at Islampur. Locals in Islampur burnt effigies of the Chief Minister and demanded the resignation of the state education minister. Student leaders of the Akhil Bharati Vidyarthi Parishad or ABVP have also taken out protest rallies in the state.

The families of the two boys have refused to cremate the bodies. The bodies have been buried for now near a river. The families and the protesters have demanded a CBI probe into the incident.

Rajesh Sarkar, a former student, died after being hit in the back by a bullet during the clashes. Tapas Barman, a third-year student, also died of gunshot wounds at the North Bengal Medical College, where he was taken for treatment.

The police in North Dinajpur have denied opening fire and said, there were men with illegal weapons in the mob of students, who may have fired the fatal shots.

But locals have claimed that the police opened fire. The opposition have said, if there were armed people in the mob, why have the police not arrested them yet.

Since the bodies have not yet been cremated, a second postmortem is possible to establish what kind of bullets killed the two, sources have told NDTV.