The political rivalry between the ruling CPM and the Trinamool Congress took a bloody turn on Saturday when five persons lost their lives two of them were charred to death as the supporters of the two parties clashed at Nanur in Birbhum,firing and hurling bombs at each other in a running battle and torching houses.
Seven others were hurt in the incident that took place in the wee hours over control of Papuri,a village at Nanur. A number of houses in the village were set ablaze.
Four of the dead have been identified as Lalbabu Sheikh,Rashid Sheikh,Riyaji Sheikh,Mukhtar Sheikh,all CPM supporters and residents of Papuri.
Both sides blamed each other for the violence. The CPM said the victims were returning home after being ousted from the village when Trinamool supporters attacked them. The TMC said the village was under attack by the CPM cadres. Papuri lies close to Suchpur,a village where 11 Trinamool supporters were killed on July 27,2000.
Birbhum SP Lakshmi Narayan Meena said,Two groups clashed with each other in which guns and bombs were used. So far,we have recovered five bodies from the village and search for more bodies is on. Police reinforcements have been rushed and the situation is under control. Till Saturday night,no arrested had been made.
According to police,the clashes broke out early morning when a group of armed CPM cadres tried to enter the village that has been under TMCs control for some time. The Trinamool men in the village reportedly had prior information and they confronted the CPM cadres,leading to a bloody battle.
The two charred bodies were found from heaps of burnt hay,and three more bodies were recovered from the fields and had bullet marks on them. Seven people who received injuries were rushed to Bolpur hospital.
In the recent civic polls,CPM won the Thupsara Gram Panchayat under which Papuri comes. However,soon after the polls,the Trinamool gained ground in the villages and allegedly drove some CPM supporters out of the village last month.
CPM district secretary Dilip Ganguly said,The victims were our supporters who were ousted from their homes a month back. They were just trying to return home when TMC goons attacked and killed them. Trinamool is trying to crate an atmosphere of terror and take control of the village by force.
Trinamool Congress district leader Anubarata Mondol said,Armed CPM cadres attacked the village and were trying to take control of the village. The villagers resisted.
This is not the first time that the political violence has broken out in Nanur in the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls. On December 11 last year,two TMC supporters were killed in clashes with CPM cadres in Kot village.