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Posted on Nov 07, 10:00PM | IANS
Countering Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's claim that police had not opened fire at villagers during the clashes in Birbhum, the opposition Wednesday accused the government of putting pressure on doctors not to mention bullet injuries in their medical reports.
"Police opened fire. Bullets have been found at the spot. Television channels are showing such footage. Villagers have sustained bullet injuries. Now there is pressure on doctors so that the medical reports do not mention bullet injuries," Leader of Opposition Surjya Kanta Mishra told media persons here.
The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) politburo member's claim came shortly after Banerjee denied any police excesses and maintained that they did not open fire during Tuesday's incident at Lobo village where 27 police personnel and six villagers were injured.
Mishra also expressed his dismay over allegations by state Industries Minister Partha Chatterjee, who visited Birbhum district Wednesday, that the "CPI-M and a section of the Congress" were behind the violence.
"Even before any investigation, the minister has said how it all happened, while the chief minister says she needs more information. What is the need for a probe then? There is evidently a lack of coordination in the government ranks," Mishra said.
"If any party is involved, it is the Trinamool Congress," Mishra added.
The clashes occurred in a confrontation over coal extraction by DVC Emta Coal Mines Ltd, a joint venture company, at Dubrajpur, 226 km from Kolkata.
Some landowners had opposed additional land acquisition for the project and seized an earth-moving machine last year.
The villagers refused to let go of the company's earth-moving equipment, after which the company lodged a police complaint.
The police force sent to recover the machine met with resistance from the villagers Tuesday.
Among those injured in the clashes were three senior police officers.
Mishra said his party was for a proper and impartial inquiry into the incident.
He also expressed doubts over Banerjee's claim that higher-ups in the state police and the government had no idea of the police action, which was decided at the district level.
"We need to know why the police fired? Who ordered the firing? I don't believe that a police superintendent will get involved in such an incident by gathering personnel from so many police stations if he doesn't have a directive from the higher-ups," Mishra said.
Asked about Banerjee's remark that the firm had got the coal block during the Left Front rule in the state because of its links with late Marxist veteran Jyoti Basu's son Chandan, Mishra shot back: "If the chief minister knows so much, why did police go to the spot to protect the company's interest?"
"Why is she (Banerjee) as the industry minister arguing the company's case?" he asked.