The three-year-old son of a panchayat leader was shot at in Manikchak area of Malda on Thursday after fresh violence erupted over the formation of panchayat boards. The boy’s mother, Putul Mondal, blamed the BJP for the incident. She had won the Ramnagar seat during the recent rural elections as a BJP candidate. Afterwards, she joined the TMC and supported it during panchayat board formation.
“BJP attacked my house and shot my innocent child since I supported TMC during formation of the board,” Putul told a TV channel. BJP claimed the Trinamool Congress was responsible, which the ruling party denied.
Sources said a group of miscreants had barged into Putul’s house and opened fire. While Putul and her husband Parimal escaped unhurt, their child was hit in the head by gunfire. The victim was rushed to Manikchak rural hospital, from where he was transferred to Malda Medical College and Hospital. Hospital sources said his condition is critical.
“He was recovered with a bullet injury to his head and is under treatment at Malda Hospital,” said a police officer.
Local Trinamool leaders too claimed the BJP was behind the incident. “Putul Mondal joined TMC and supported the party on Tuesday, following which BJP goons attacked her house,” said Dulal Sarkar, a TMC leader.
BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha, on the other hand, denied his party’s involvement. “I feel this incident is TMC’s handiwork… TMC is responsible for the incident completely as they are used to hijacking candidates of other parties by means of terror,” he said.
A local BJP leader further alleged that Putul and her husband had been approached by TMC with the promise of money and that they had later fallen out, leading to the incident. Calling the incident “shameful”, state Panchayat Minister Subrata Mukherjee told a TV channel, “It is extremely shameful. BJP has no ethics. It is sad to see how they have been creating an environment of terror in panchayat areas, which have always been the apple of the CM’s eye.”
Police sources said they have initiated a probe in the matter.
A day after three persons were killed in panchayat board-related violence, Amdanga area of North 24 Parganas remained tense on Thursday, with schools and shops staying closed. Despite heavy police presence in the area, fresh bomb blasts were heard in some areas. Police sources said some bombs had “accidentally” exploded. Sources also said police had recovered a large number of crude bombs hidden inside a drum in Bahishgachi area.
Ten people, who were arrested on Wednesday in connection with the violence, were remanded in 14-day police custody on Thursday, sources said. Following the violence, local TMC workers had registered a complaint against Amdanga Inspector-in-Charge Manas Das, following which he was replaced by former IC of the same area Tushar Biswas the same day.