A+ A-

In Photo: Police lathi charge a civic volunteer in Malda on Monday noon. 

By A Newsman

Malda, 14 September: AROUND 40 youths have been injured in a police lathi charge on an agitating group of retrenched civic volunteers in Malda town in north Bengal.

Civic volunteers are the ones who are appointed by the state administration throughout the districts on a contractual basis to assist the police primarily in maintaining traffic and guard vital establishments.

Around 4,800 youths, including women, who have been recently retrenched as civic volunteers, organised a gathering at the ITI College ground in Malda town on Monday morning. The organisers had sought permission for the gathering in advance that was denied by the police.

Around noon, the participants marched towards the office of the superintendent of police to serve a memorandum to the SP demanding that they be reinstated into service. It was during then that they were stopped by a large police force at ITI More.

Angry over this, the retrenched volunteers blocked the road at ITI More and near the Rabindra Statue. To remove the blockades, police restored a massive lathi charge injuring around 40 of the agitating volunteers that included a few women also. Several of the injured were left bleeding from the head and face.

In retaliatory stone pelting by the agitators, some policemen that include a deputy superintendent of police, have also been injured. At the time of filing this news report, the situation in Malda town is still tense and the administration has pressed in a battalion of the Rapid Action Force to contain the situation.

An injured civic volunteer alleged that while 4,800 of them have been retrenched from service with effect from 1 September, the district police have started the process of recruiting fresh youths for the service.

“This is being done to show an increased number of employment creation that the Trinamool Congress government can boast of,” he alleged.