Kolkata: A railway official was assaulted and bombs were hurled near a station after Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel tried to evict hawkers who had set up “illegal” shops at the Baruipur station premises on Saturday, officials said.
An Eastern Railway spokesman claimed a railway official and three others were injured in the attack carried out by a mob comprising the hawkers and locals.
“The official was thrown on to the ground and beaten black and blue,” said the spokesman. The trouble started when the RPF personnel started the eviction drive.
Around 1,000 hawkers – said to owe allegiance to the Indian National Trinamool Trade Union Congress (INTTUC), the workers’ arm of the ruling Trinamool Congress collected at the spot and went berserk.
The hawkers, on the other hand, alleged that the railway authorities had launched the drive without giving any prior notification.
However, the railways said the hawkers did not have any peromission to ply their trade in the station premises, and so no notification was needed.
The adamant hawkers said unless the railway authorities arranged for an alternative space for them, they would continue their trade within the station premises.
The railway spokesman said the eviction drive has been halted for the time being.
On the other hand, state Inspector General of Police (Law and Order) Anuj Sharma said the drive has been carried out by the RPF disregarding the state administration’s advice to desist from it.