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Katwa in Burdwan remained tense on Sunday as clashes between the TMC and CPM turned violent, with both sides allegedly hurling bombs at each other. At least four Left activists were injured, including a woman, said the police.
According to the police, RAF and other armed forces were called in to restore peace in the area. A police officer said, “The CPM workers have been displaced from here since the elections. However, the local administration had made an initiative to bring them back before Diwali. That lasted only four hours after 10 Left workers returned home.” The bombing resumed on Friday night, said the police.
The Left alleged that the bombings are indicative of TMC’s desire to “destroy all opposition in the state” to ensure their “tyrannical rule”. TMC denied the allegations. Several residents of areas such as Lodhan and Katwa are descendants of sharecroppers who had benefited greatly from the formal recording of sharecroppers in the late seventies.
They were also given recovered land as part of the state’s land reforms. Burdwan district was colloquially known as the Lal Durga (Red Fortress). It was only after 2011 that CPM’s stronghold over the district began to weaken. By 2016, TMC had all but established their dominance in the area. However, pockets such as Katwa continue to have strong Left support.