Protests erupted in certain parts of West Bengal against the return of migrant workers and establishment of quarantine centres, even as the number of COVID-19 cases crossed 5,000 in the State.
Protests were reported from North 24 Parganas, Paschim Bardhaman, Birbhum and Howrah districts.
At Uluberia in Howrah district, locals protested against the return of nine migrant workers from Delhi, who were staying in the locality. On Saturday morning, the situation turned violent, with two groups clashing. Policemen and RAF personnel were deployed and seven persons were arrested.
In North 24 Parganas, a large crowd protested outside Barasat College against turning it into a quarantine centre for the migrant workers. In Jamuria and Asansol in Paschim Bardhaman and Suri in Birbhum, locals took to the streets against the return of migrant workers and opening of quarantine centres.
With 317 new cases, the number of cases in the State stands at 5,130. Cooch Behar, which had no case until a day ago, recorded 32 cases, all migrant workers from Delhi.
District officials said they were asymptomatic and admitted to hospital. Kolkata recorded the highest of 80 cases, followed by Howrah with 42. The active cases in the State have climbed to 2,815. Seven more deaths were reported, including six from Kolkata. The number of deaths stood at 237, and 72 died due to “co-morbidities”.
Earlier in the day, Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar expressed concern over certain developments in the Kolkata Police. Over the past few days, there have been some protests after some policemen tested positive. “Concerned, aghast at happenings at Kolkata Police Training School; Garfa Police Station and now 4th battalion of Kolkata police at Bidhannagar. Men in uniform so stanching @MamataOfficial worrisome. Chinks getting exposed in historically impeccable @KolkataPolice,” he wrote on Twitter.
Mr. Dhankhar called for urgent steps from Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to address their grievances. “Bureaucracy and Police need to be distanced from any political affinity for sake of transparent and accountable administration.”