Seven people killed in crude bomb explosions during clashes over the control of sand mining in Labhupur area in Birbhum district of West Bengal on Friday, April 21. Several people were also injured during the clashes.
It was said that two groups clashed over controlling the sand mine and soonit led to violence. Police told local news channels that the explosions happened at the time of making the crude bombs. Tension prevailed in the vicinity following the incident.
Bengali news channels reported that students and teachers at a nearby school ran for cover after the bombs exploded.
The Opposition Left and BJP slammed the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) saying it has failed to rein in the goons in the state. They also accused the clashes as the outcome of the TMC's internal feud. It was said that two leaders of the party from Darbarpur and Meerbandh area clashed over the control of a sand mine.
However, the TMC hit back at the Opposition saying those who caused the problem belonged to their ranks. TMC's district chief Anubrata Mandal rubbished charges that factional feud in his party led to the violence.
West Bengal's sand mafia problem
Sand mafia in South Bengal has been a major problem in the state and the latest incident proves the TMC government has not succeeded in meeting the challenge. The situation is particularly grave in Birbhum and Burdwan districts that are home to a number of prominent leaders of the state.
According to the Opposition parties, illegal sand mining is not just a law and order problem in Birbhum district but also a reason behind the growing factional feud in the TMC. The mines generate revenue worth around Rs 70 crore and are mostly controlled by leaders of the TMC.
Though the state's rules say that mining operation can not be dome within five kilometres of a river, they are being flouted at will. There are reportedly about 80 illegal sand mines in Birbhum out of which 30 are located on the banks of Mayurakshi River and around 25 near the Ajay River. The sand is smuggled to Kolkata, Durgapur, Asansol and other places to be used in the real-estate industry.
Bombing over BJP's 'internal feud' in Kolkata
Meanwhile in Kolkata, bombs were hurled on Shitalatala Road in Narkeldanga area and the BJP's 'internal feud' was considered to be the reason behind the incident. A bomb also exploded in front of a BJP leader's house in the area.