Two die, several injured during students protest in Siliguri

     Two persons died and several were injured during a scuffle between police personnel and students claiming rights over a playground in Siliguri, West Bengal. Students of Sri Krishnapur High School staged a violent protest on Thursday. Dipak Mirdha and Dipak Das died and several other were injured. The situation became tense when a local court issued a directive for the handing over of the land used by students as a playground to its owner Alok Das. Reportedly, the school authorities had been using the disputed land as playground for many years and objected to the police taking it over. During the argument, police fired at students and attacked them with sticks and when situation got brutally worst, they resorted 10-12 firing rounds, which resulted in two dead and several injured. "We were playing on the ground when the police accompanied by a man came over here to take over the ground. They asked us to leave and they didn't even talk to us and when we protested they baton charged us and even opened fire. Two of our friends died in which one died immediately on the spot and the other died on way to Siliguri Medical Hospital . We want that police personnel who fired on our friends should be arrested and till then we will not leave the school premises," said Arup Das, a student. The violence resulted in destruction of six vehicles and these included four trucks of Border Security Force (BSF), one state government bus and one police van. Cutting across political differences, the Congress party, Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM) and Socialist Unity Centre of India (SUCI) have declared a 12-hour shutdown in Siliguri as a mark of protest against the fatal violence that claimed lives of two students.

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