Nine vehicles were set on fire and over 20 people were injured on Tuesday in a clash between the CPM and the Trinamool Congress members in the South 24 Parganas district of West Bengal.
The incident occurred at Bamanghata, about 30 kms from here. TMC members allegedly attacked a CPM rally heading towards Alipore.
The CPM had taken out the rally to demand the arrest of TMC leader Arabul Islam for his alleged role in an attack on Abdul Rezzak Mollah of the CPM.
“Fifteen of our workers were injured. Three of them have bullet injuries. Two were hit by stones. Several are serious. They even torched our vehicles,” CPM’s Bhangar zonal committee secretary Sattar Mollah said.
Refuting the charges, the TMC leadership instead alleged that hundreds of CPM members had attacked Islam’s car and torched some vehicles without any provocation.
He was grievously injured and had to be rushed to a private nursing home immediately in an unconscious condition, they added.
“There was a law and order problem but I cannot give the details immediately. Police is looking into the matter,” said Praveen Tripathy, Superintendent of Police, South 24 Parganas.
Though the Congress said “such incidents cannot be justified,” the party apparently stood by the TMC, describing the clash as an upshot of the CPM’s 34-year oppressive rule in the state. “For 34 years, the CPM ruled the state and suppressed opponents. This is the history of Bengal. What is happening now in state is a retaliation to what they have done,” Congress spokesperson P C Chacko said.
“A Communist government, anywhere in the country, resorted to applying strong arm methods against their opponents,” Chacko charged, advising Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to learn from “mistakes” committed by the Left.
Law and order
He also suggested that the TMC should let the law enforcement agencies do their job, instead of taking law into their hands.
Tension between the two parties reached the crest after Rezzak Mollah was allegedly attacked by Arabul Islam and other TMC supporters at Kanta Tala in the South 24 Parganas on Sunday. Mollah is recuperating at a private nursing home.
He has severe body pain and multiple stitches on his lips.
Banerjee reportedly rushed to the state secretariat, the Writers' Building, and held a high-level meeting with senior administrative and police officials to take stock of the situation.