Kolkata: Train services in the Eastern Railway's Sealdah division were disrupted for the second day Tuesday owing to a rail blockade by protesters at Kankinara, as clashes continued between the TMC and the BJP supporters in Bhatpara, where assembly bypoll was held Sunday.
Notwithstanding the prohibitory orders imposed in the area, unidentified men hurled a crude bomb outside Kankinara railway station, but no one was injured in the incident, a police officer said.
Panicked passengers and local people were seen running for cover as armed miscreants moved around the area.
An Eastern Railway spokesperson said hundreds of people were inconvenienced Tuesday morning as the blockade, which began at 8.43 am and continued till 12.04 pm, led to the detainment and cancellation of local and express trains. Bhatpara, considered to be a stronghold of former TMC MLA Arjun Singh, turned into a battle zone on Sunday during the bypoll, with the BJP and the TMC activists allegedly clashing with each other at Kankinara in the constituency.
Bombs were also reportedly hurled and an office of the ruling TMC was set on fire, as central forces resorted to lathicharge to bring the situation under control.
The violence caused injury to 14 people and damaged multiple shops and houses. The Election Commission Monday clamped Section 144 CrPC in Bhatpara owing to the volatile situation. Deputy Commissioner (Zone I) of Barrackpur police commisionerate K Kannan said that 70 persons have been arrested so far for their alleged involvement in the violence at Bhatpara since Sunday.
Around 200 companies of central forces have been retained in West Bengal till May 27 in the wake of possible post-poll violence in the state. Bypoll in Bhatpara in North 24 Paraganas district was necessitated after Arjun Singh, who switched to the BJP from the TMC, resigned as MLA to contest the Lok Sabha polls from Barrackpore.
His son Pawan Kumar Singh was fielded by the BJP for the byelection against TMC's Madan Mitra....