In a shocking turn of events in Bengal's Birbhum district, at least eight people were burnt alive in early hours of Tuesday after their houses caught fire, according to police. Some 10 houses were allegedly set ablaze by a mob following the killing of Trinamool Congress leader Bhadu Sheikh.
Charred bodies were recovered on Tuesday morning, the police said. The deceased included two children and women as well, The Economic Times reported.
While assuring that the situation has been brought under control, DGP Manoj Malviya said a probe has been ordered in the case.
"The situation is now under control and a police picket has been established in the village since last night. We are investigating how the houses caught fire and whether the incident is related to the death of the panchayat deputy chief of Barshal village," Malviya was quoted as saying by the PTI. A Special Investigation Team (SIT) has been constituted to probe the case.
Eleven people have been arrested, according to reports.
Led by minister Firhad Hakim, the ruling TMC sent a three-member MLA team to assess the situation in Barshal village.
Condemning the violence, Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankar termed the incident as "horrifying violence and arson orgy". He has sought an update on the incident from the state's Chief Secretary.
"This is indicative of nosediving of law and order in the state," Dhankar said. The administration is required to rise above partisan interests, the governor said, making a dig at the ruling TMC in Bengal.
BJP legislators staged a walkout from the Assembly on Tuesday as they demanded Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to make a statement over the Birbhum violence. Demanding President's rule in Bengal, MLA Shankar Ghosh said the BJP wants Mamata to resign for her 'failure to control the worsening law and order situation' in the state.