Islampur, West Bengal: The north Bengal town of Islampur is on the boil after two protestors were killed and several others, including three policemen, were injured on Thursday.
Students were protesting the state education board’s decision to appoint a new Urdu teacher at the government-sponsored Dwaribhit High School in North Dinajpur district’s Islampur area when it suddenly turned violent.
Islampur, which borders the foothills of Darjeeling, is the gateway to Northeast from other parts of India.
Students of the school alleged that one of the deceased, Rajesh Sarkar, a former student of the school, died of bullet injury after the police fired to disperse the protesting crowds.
Another victim has been identified as Tapas Burman (19), a student of Islampur College and a former student of the high school. He had been critically injured during the clashes on Thursday. He was admitted to the North Bengal Medical College hospital in Siliguri but succumbed to his injuries late on Thursday night.
According to the locals, students have been demanding for Bengali, Science and Maths subject teachers in the school for months now. However, the state government appointed Urdu teachers instead. When students protested and blocked the road to stop the new teachers from coming to the school, clashes erupted in which one of the protestors, Sarkar, was killed.
The police have, however, denied firing at the protestors.
DIG North Dinajpur Jayanta Kumar Pal said: “As per information, there was no firing on the part of the police. Police do not carry firearms in case of such incidents. However, we will conduct an enquiry to find out what led to the unfortunate death.”
Meanwhile, students claimed that police had fired on them unprovoked, which resulted in Sarkar’s bullet injury. He succumbed to his injuries after being brought to Islampur Sub-Divisional Hospital. The other injured are under treatment.
To protest against the killings, BJP had called for a strike on Friday. The town is still very tense, and travellers were advised to avoid passing through Islampur during the day.