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Siliguri: A civic volunteer allegedly shot at a CPI-M leader in Alipurduar district in north Bengal after he refused to make a family member withdraw the nomination for contesting the coming Panchayat polls on CPI-M ticket.

Civic volunteers are hired by police on daily wage basis to manage crowd and traffic and are not provided with arms or weapons. In this case, the accused civic volunteer Tushar Barman also happens to be a Trinamool worker. He had allegedly procured an improvised pistol illegally.

The incident took place last night at Tapsikhata village under Alipurduar-I block. Prabhat Chandra Adhikari, the CPI-M leader and Kishak Sabha block president who luckily escaped the attack, has lodged an FIR at Alipurduar police station but police are yet to arrest anyone.

According to Adhikari and other eyewitnesses, yesterday night he alone in the CPI-M Tapsikhata office engrossed in election works. Around 9 pm, civic volunteer Barman and another Trinamool worker named Biswajit Roy came riding a motorcycle and asked Adhikari to come out.

Barman then asked Adhikari to make his younger brother’s wife withdraw the nomination that she has filed to contest the Panchayat polls on a CPI-M ticket. Adhikari outright rejected the idea making Barman turn.

He took out an improvised pistol that he was carrying and opened a fire at the CPI-M leader. But his companion Roy intervened just in time and redirected the pistol to another direction. Because of this, the bullet hit a wall of the CPI-M office and Adhikari escaped unhurt.

Hearing the gunshot, people from the vicinity came rushing. This made civic volunteer Barman and his companion Roy to speed away in the motorcycle. Local people escorted a visibly shaken CPI-M leader to his home. Later in the night, he lodged an FIR naming the two for the attack.

Trinamool Alipurduar-I block unit president Monoranjan Dey has, however, refused that any Trinamool worker was involved in this. “Knowing that they will lose the elections, CPI-M is trying to malign us,” he has said.