Three persons were killed and one sustained critical bullet injuries while at least five housed were gutted in a clash between Trinamool Congress and BJP supporters Monday at Makra village under Parui police station area in Birbhum district of West Bengal.
A strong police contingent under Additional Superintendent of Police Ananda Roy was present on the spot, sources said, adding that it failed to stop the violence.
The deceased were identified as Tausif Sheikh, 16, Soleman Sheikh, 25, and Mozzamel whose age could not be ascertained, police sources said.
While Tuasif and Mozzamel were from Makra village, Soleman was a resident of neighbouring Dubrajpur village. All three sustained bullet injuries from country-made pistols. Another Makra villager, Enamul Sheikh, too sustained bullet injuries and was admitted to a local hospital.
No arrests were made till the last reports came in.
The nearly three-hour-long violence, which broke out early morning, saw gunbattles and bomb attacks. It came at a time when National Security Advisor Ajit Doval along with NSG DG J N Chowdhury, and special secretary (internal security) Prakash Misra were inspecting the October 2 blast site in neighbouring Burdwan, just about 50 km away.
The clash, the sources said, broke out as the TMC tried to capture Makra village, which is considered a BJP stronghold and which has a mostly Muslim population. The violence captured live by regional channels showed villagers, even women, running with firearms, bombs and other weapons.
A police team lead by Alok Rajoria, SP, Birbhum, could enter the village nearly three hours after the clashes broke and started rescuing the injured.
Trading charges, both TMC and BJP have blamed each other for the violence.
District BJP leaders claimed that Tausif was a party supporter as he belonged to Makra village, their stronghold. They claimed a large number of villages in the area have become their supporters and the TMC was targeting them.
District TMC president Anubrata Mondal, however, claimed that all three victims belonged to his party.