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Call for Central rule as eight burnt alive in Birbhum group clash

KOLKATA, March 23: Union Home Minister Amit Shah has called for a report from the Bengal Government following an incident of arson in which eight people, including two children, were burnt alive by a mob retaliating against the murder of a Trinamool Congress leader, setting fire to their houses, in Birbhum district on Monday night.

The BJP, alleging that TMC's intra-party rivalry is leading to law and order problem in the State, demanded imposition of the President's rule in the TMC-ruled State. The Congress too has demanded imposition of Article 355 of the Constitution. The BJP has called for a statewide protest.

Immediately after the news of the TMC leader, Bahadur Sheikh's death flashed, a dozen nearby houses were set on fire. Eleven people have been arrested. The bodies were recovered from the burnt down houses on Tuesday morning.

The body of Bahadur Sheikh, the panchayat deputy chief of Barshal village of Rampurhat, was found in the area on Monday night, police said. It is said intra-party rivalry led to the incident.

TMC general secretary Kunal Ghosh tweeted saying that the incident has nothing to do with politics. “Deaths of the locals in fire incident is sad. But this incident has no political connection. This is a local village dispute. The panchayat deputy chief who was murdered was a well-known person and his death has angered the villagers, leading to the violent protest. The fire incident took place at night but cops and fire brigade took immediate action."

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