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In Photo: A TV grab of the TMC gang-war at Tangra in east Kolkata on Tuesday. Courtesy: ABP Ananda 

Newsmen Bureau

Kolkata, 18 August: HURLING of grenades and firing bullets in broad day which were features exclusive to political gang-wars in Bihar till a few years ago, are now gradually becoming a part of the politics in Kolkata.

The latest testimony to this was witnessed at Tangra in east Kolkata on Tuesday, where two warring factions, both owing allegiance to the ruling Trinamool Congress, lobbed improvised grenades and fired bullets at each other in broad day.

The gang-war took place Tuesday afternoon at Vaishali More not very far from the Tangra police station and as the miscreants ran amok turning the locality smoky with grenades and sound of bullets scarring the local residents to lock themselves up to their homes.

What should be more alarming for the citizens of Kolkata is, instead of taking the miscreants head-on, the Tangra police themselves ran for cover until the deputy police commissioner of South East division Gaurav Sharma reached the spot with reinforcement.

In their subsequent attempt to contain the violence, three policemen sustained hospitable injuries. Some of those involved in the clash were also hurt. Kolkata Police later launched a massive man-hunt to nab the main culprits.

At the root of the clash is the rivalry between two local Trinamool leaders ~ Aloke Khatua and Pradip Guha ~ over gaining control of the political turf. Sources said that Khatua’s faction attacked some supporters of Guha on Monday night near a local temple.

Guha’s faction went to Tangra police station to lodge a complaint today noon. Peeved at this, Khatua’s group attacked them as soon as they came out of the police station; Guha’s supporters did not lose much time to retaliate.

Trinamool MLA Swarnakamal Saha who went to the area later and paid a visit to the police station, told reporters that both the warring factions were Trinamool supporters. “There is personal rivalry between the faction heads but I am astonished how this could escalate into a violence of this magnitude,” he said.

Not very long ago, last month, Haridevpur area in south Kolkata witnessed similar gang-wars between Trinamool factions and the police were attacked in the incident.

Prior to this, in April, two rival Trinamool groups clashed using grenades and firearms at Posta area in north Kolkata in the run-up to the Kolkata Municipal Corporation polls.