WB clashes unabated on panchayat poll eve

WB clashes unabated on panchayat  poll eve

With the fourth phase of polling in the ongoing Panchayat election in West Bengal scheduled for Monday, violence continued unabated and two deaths were reported on Sunday.

At Basanti in South 24 Parganas district, the ruling Trinamool Congress unleashed its own brand of post-poll terror by setting ablaze houses of more than 40 RSP supporters and cadres, while several incidents of clashes were reported from different parts of Malda and Murshidabad, which will see polling on Monday.

Birbhum and Nadia, the other two districts going to the polls in the fourth phase, however, remained peaceful.

At Basanti, although no one was killed, with just a girl being injured by splinters, the village suffered substantial financial loss, with everything burnt to ashes. Meanwhile, state election commissioner Meera Pandey met Governor M K Narayanan to apprise him of the violent situation across Bengal, although she refused to comment after coming out of the meeting on Sunday afternoon.

Malda and Murshidabad, two of the highly contentious districts in north Bengal, known to be the rare Congress strongholds in the state, saw violent clashed not just between the Trinamool and CPM or the Trinamool and Congress but also between the CPM and Congress.

With bombs being hurled a few days ago at a convoy of A H Khan Chowdhury, Union minister and senior leader from Murshidabad, the Congress has geared up to face all sorts of trouble.

Since Sunday morning, Beldanga in Murshidabad, considered a sensitive booth, witnessed bombs being hurled intermittently, with clashes between Congress workers and CPM cadres.

 The clashes led to the deaths of Noor Islam and Sheikh Hayat, besides severely injuring another — all Congress supporters.

While clashes continued, Minister of State for Railways and Congress district secretary Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury exchanged allegations with Anisur Rahman, senior CPM leader from Murshidabad and local MLA.

At Murshidabad’s Rejinagar, which has become a prestige seat for the Congress after its local MLA defected to the Trinamool Congress last year, the husband of a CPM candidate was attacked and he has been admitted to a nearby government hospital with bullet injuries.  Similar clashes were reported even at the adjoining district of Malda, with a number of severe injuries from bullets and bomb splinters but no casualties reported till 5 pm.

At Kaliachawk in the district, Trinamool’s woman leader Zarina Bibi suffered bullet injuries to her left leg when some Congress supporters entered her home and opened fire.

At English Bazaar, where Khan Chowdhury was attacked, six people have been injured in a clash between the Trinamool and CPM. All of them have been admitted to Malda Medical College Hospital, even as the parties blamed one another.

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