Lots of cops, very few locals. News18 reached Bagatui village in Rampurhat area of West Bengal on Wednesday.
At least eight people were burnt alive in their homes by a mob here after the assassination of local Trinamool Congress leader Vadu Sheikh on Monday, sparking a mass uprising across the country and a political firestorm.
However, most of the people who met at News18 Bagatui village denied any knowledge of the scuffle.
“I do not know. We can’t say anything. We are not from this village, “they say.
There are allegations that police were not present on the night of the incident. That has changed dramatically.
When our car reached Bagatui village, there was a police barricade at the entrance. Many were not allowed to enter.
Policemen were everywhere inside the village.
Vadhu Sheikh’s house was locked. Her family members left on Tuesday.
The house opposite his rival Sona Sheikh was burnt down. Seven burnt bodies were recovered from inside.
There was another house about 100 meters away which was still reduced to ashes by the smoke.
Among the remains are a bicycle, some cooking utensils, etc.
Many more surviving homes were locked. Residents are gone with whatever they can collect.
There were some people around, all listening to what politicians and other visitors were saying but not themselves.
“Are you all from this village?” We asked
Some of them escaped. Others said they did not come from there and knew nothing about what had happened.
About half the house is empty.
I heard some noise inside the village. Two women and a man were sitting on the mud porch of a hut. They were talking about leaving each other like the others. “Where are we going?” The man asked a woman.
We met Alam Sheikh at the local headquarters with his luggage. “I’m leaving,” he said. “We’re scared. That night was terrible, and now if we stay here the police will harass us. I’m a man. They’ll target me. So I’m leaving.”
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