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  Metros   Kolkata  07 Apr 2018  Many injured in district clashes

Many injured in district clashes

PTI
Published : Apr 7, 2018, 7:04 am IST
Updated : Apr 7, 2018, 7:04 am IST

Twenty-five BJP workers were arrested in connection with the violence, the police said.

State Panchayat Minister Subrata Mukherjee
 State Panchayat Minister Subrata Mukherjee

Bankura/Nalhati/Nabagram: Violence over filing of nominations for the rural polls in West Bengal was reported on Friday from Birbhum, Bankura and Murshidabad districts in which many people were injured. The poll-related violence has claimed two lives in Malda and Bankura districts so far since the beginning of filing of nominations on April 2, the police said.

In the Nalhati area in Birbhum district, clashes broke out between the police and BJP supporters when they defied orders against holding rallies or processions while filing nominations. The directives were issued after an attack on former CPI(M) MP Ramchandra Dome allegedly by TMC hoodlums on Thursday. The BJP workers took out a rally and were stopped by the police. 

 

A heated argument erupted between the two sides and snowballed into a clash. The men in uniform used batons and fired rubber bullets to disperse the rallyists, a police official said. A number of police personnel were injured in brick batting by the BJP cadres. 

Twenty-five BJP workers were arrested in connection with the violence, the police said. 

In Bankura, BJP state secretary Shyamapada Mondal was attacked allegedly by TMC supporters when he and his party cadres were on their way to meet the district magistrate in the afternoon to submit a memorandum on the violence during filing of nominations for the panchayat polls. 

He alleged that about 300 “TMC goons”, who were present there in violation of Section 144 of the CrPC clamped in the area, attacked the BJP delegation. The TMC leadership in the district termed the allegations baseless. Video footage aired on TV news channels showed crude bombs being hurled at Nabagram in Murshidabad district and activists of the TMC and the BJP clashing with each other over filing of nominations. 

 

The BJP staged a demonstration in Nalhati to protest against the violence and demanded that paramilitary personnel be deployed in adequate numbers to ensure “free and fair” polls. However, West Bengal panchayat minister Subrata Mukherjee told reporters at the Secretariat that there was no need for such a move. He said central forces are not deployed for rural or civic polls. 

TMC secretary general and state minister Partha Chatterjee accused the BJP of trying to foment trouble in the state by bringing in outsiders. “The BJP will never be allowed to disturb peace in the state. First it was communal violence on Ram Navami and now they are using muscle power to stop our candidates from filing nominations,” Chatterjee alleged. 

 

He said that allegations of opposition candidates being attacked are an excuse as the rival parties do not have candidates to file nominations. The BJP, on the other hand, accused the TMC of not allowing its workers to file nominations for the panchayat elections, and said it was trying to turn the rural polls into a farce by use of money and muscle power.

“Democracy has ceased to exist in Bengal. But the BJP will not give up so easily. Our workers are being brutally beaten up in Murshidabad, Bankura and Birbhum and police are acting like cadres of the TMC,” BJP leader Mukul Roy alleged.

Tags: shyamapada mondal, ram navami violence, panchayat elections