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Featured Image: Flood victim youth injured in police firing (left) and people assaulting a Trinamool GP member at Balurghat. 

By Our Newsmen

Siliguri / Malda, 18 August: A youth has been hospitalised with bullet wounds after police fired rubber bullets on a mob of flood-hit people agitating for relief.

The incident took place yesterday evening at the Kishan Mandi at Sripur under Itahar police station area in North Dinajpur district. North Dinajpur is one of the three districts in north Bengal that have badly affected by floods and around 5 lakh people have been affected.

On the other hand, a Trinamool gram panchayat member named Nikhil Soren has been assaulted by flood-hit people at Chakvrigu, Balurghat in South Dinajpur district for the administration’s failure to provide relief.

The flood victims were demonstration in front of Balurghat police station this morning when they spotted Soren passing by the area and assaulted him for not enquiring about the suffering people. Police rescued him from the agitators.

The civil administration had opened a relief camp at the Sripur Kishan Mandi sheltering some flood-hit people from different parts of Itahar, while several others have been living on highlands and roads by making their own makeshift arrangements.

The local administration had announced distributing plastic tents for the flood victims living out in the open. The tents were to be distributed in the afternoon, but getting to know of this, around 5,000 flood victims gathered at the Kishan Mandi since morning.

Realising that they do not have enough supplies to cater to so many people, the administration called off the tent distribution plan and announced late in the afternoon that the same would be done the next day.

Peeved at this, the flood-hit people took to a demonstration and a section of them forayed into the Mandi building by braking window-panes. They began to vandalise the building and loot whatever relief materials were stockpiled there.

Finding the situation go out of control, cops from Itahar police station who were deployed there, first restored to a lathi-charge and the fired rubber bullets on the flood-victim mob. Two rubber bullets stuck a youth named Bijay Barman in the neck and hand.

The youth, who hailed from nearby Duragpur village, was subsequently taken to the Raiganj District Hospital by police and his mother. Doctors have operated out the runner bullets from his body and he is now out of danger.