Violence continues unabated over panchayat board formation in West Bengal

Massive clashes were reported in Howrah and North Dinajpur district of West Bengal. Itahar and Daspara in North Dinajpur district also remained on the boil.

Violence continues unabated over panchayat board formation in West Bengal

A day after four people were killed amid the formation of panchayat board across West Bengal, violence continued unabated even on Tuesday. Massive clashes were reported in Howrah and North Dinajpur district of West Bengal. Itahar and Daspara in North Dinajpur district also remained on the boil with three party cadres – TMC, Congress and BJP clashing with each other.

Party cadres hurled crude bombs, pelted stones at each other. Police rushed to the spot to control the situation but was instead attacked by the agitated crowd. They hurled stones at the police injuring several policemen in the attack. Party cadres even torched a police vehicle in Itahar. In retaliation, the police had to resort to tear gas shelling and lathicharge.

In North Dinajpur’s Itahar, there are a total of 25 seats. Of the total 25, BJP bagged 13 seats and TMC managed to secure 12 seats and in Daspur gram panchayat all 13 seats were won by TMC. 

On the other hand, clashes broke out once again in Howrah’s Uluberia area over the formation of panchayat board. BJP cadres clashed with the TMC and the situation remained tense for the second consecutive day in Uluberia. In Uluberia's Tulsiberia gram panchayat, out of the total 18 seats, BJP secured 10 seats, TMC secured 7 seats and one independent candidate later joined TMC. 

While addressing a gathering at a TMC Chhatra Parishad foundation day program, party supremo Mamata Banerjee claimed that outsiders from Jharkhand were creating unrest in the panchayat board formation. 

"BJP is helping outsiders from Jharkhand to enter into Bengal and create an environment of unrest. BJP believes in the idea of political murders. They killed a veteran TMC leader in Jhargram. We are not going to take this lightly,” said Banerjee. 

Hitting back at the state government, BJP state president Dilip Ghosh alleged that their party cadres were being attacked by TMC in most of the districts. “The panchayat board formation is not taking place in a fair manner. We will not allow the formation of the boards till we are given an assurance that the process will take place in a fair manner,” said Ghosh.

Meanwhile, the formation of panchayat board was postponed in Purulia after two BJP members were killed amidst violent clashes. The district magistrate of Purulia district issued a special order postponing the formation of the board comprising 32 seats. Clashes had erupted between party cadres of the BJP and TMC over panchayat board formation at Purulia’s Raghunathpur and Joypur on Monday.

Two people were left dead whom the BJP claimed that they were BJP members. Five others were seriously injured in the clashes. The two deceased were identified as Niranjan Gope and Damodar Mondal.

In a similar incident, two TMC members were killed in a factional feud over panchayat board formation in Malda district. Two factions of TMC hurled crude bombs and pelted stones at the each other. Violent clashes left two dead. The deceased were identified as – Salam Sheikh and Azhar Sheikh. Besides these two, a three-year-old child suffered splinter injuries and is currently undergoing treatment at the Malda Medical College and Hospital.

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