MALDA: Hundreds of villagers blocked the state highway in Ratua for more than six hours on Sunday to protest the murder of a daily labourer. The blockade was lifted in the evening after police and administration negotiated with the mob for hours.
The deceased, Jayanta Sarkar (46), a victim of erosion, lived in a hut in a mango orchard. The land of this orchard at Kuthibari was vested and several erosion victims lived there. But of late, an effort was allegedly being made by the land mafia to change the nature of the land. A case is reportedly pending in Supreme Court in this regard. Despite that, the land was being sold off in parts and the settlers were being evacuated. But Sarkar had refused. Mithu Sarkar, his sister, claimed that he had been threatened. She lodged an FIR against five persons for the murder. tnn