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Violence-hit Bhatpara limps back to normalcy, BJP delegation to visit

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Kolkata, June 22 (IANS) Few shops and government offices opened up and private vehicles were seen plying on the streets on Saturday morning as strife-torn Bhatpara in West Bengal’s north 24 Parganas district limped back to normalcy amid tight security and police vigil in the area.

Many schools, factories and private institutions, however, remained closed as an atmosphere of panic and apprehension prevailed in the area under the Barrackpore industrial belt, two days after the clashes that claimed two lives and left at least four people injured.

A number of police pickets have been built at the important crossings near Ghoshpara and Kalyani Highway to prevent outsiders from entering the area.

On Saturday morning, local police and Rapid Action Force (RAF) personnel carried out a route march in and around Bhatpara.

A three-member BJP delegation, comprising MPs S.S. Ahluwalia, Vishnu Dayal Ram and Satyapal Singh, is scheduled to visit the area later in the day to study the situation and submit a report to party chief Amit Shah.

A joint delegation of the Congress and the Left party leaders will also visit the spot.

The region, which falls under the Barrackpore parliamentary constituency, has been tense since the election results were announced on May 23.

Former Trinamool Congress (TMC) MLA from Bhatpara Arjun Singh, who defected to the BJP just before the elections, won the Barrackpore Lok Sabha seat, while his son Pawan Singh won the Assembly by-election from Bhatpara.

A fresh flare-up in the area on Thursday killed two persons and left at least four others injured when the police opened fire, prompting the administration to impose prohibitory orders in the affected areas.

Protesting against the police brutality, BJP workers led by local MP Arjun Singh, held a demonstration outside the Barrackpore Police Commissionerate on Friday.