Siliguri: Parts of rural Bengal continue to grapple with widespread violence over the formation of new boards in the Gram Panchayats.
After the death of four people in Purulia and Malda yesterday, as many as seven people have suffered bullet injuries at Chopra in North Dinajpur district today. Of them, four are Congress workers and three Trinamool. Some houses and vehicles have been torched as well.
The incident took place at Chopra’s Daspara Gram Panchayat were the Trinamool won all the 23 seats in the Panchayat elections held in May. But the Congress-CPI-M combine alleged that Trinamool won the seats by unleashing terror and rigging on the poll day.
Thus, as the administration fixed today as the date for forming the new board at Daspara GP, the Congress-CPI-M combined rose in protest against the Trinamool. They took positions about 2-km ahead of the GP office to stop the Trinamool members.
Anticipating violence, shops and markets in the area did not open shutters this morning. Getting a wind of this, Trinamool cadres too came armed with lathis, bombs, and firearms. The face-off escalated into a bloody clash with the group trading bullets and lobbing bombs.
The clash caused bullet injuries to seven people from both the camps. Four houses and three motorcycles were also set on fire by the violence mongers. A posse of police that reached the spot sent the injured to a local government hospital.
Police had to fire teargas shells and also fire in the air to bring the situation under control. A temporary police picket has been posted at Daspara but political observers of the district fear that the violence may not die down any time soon.