Jhargram (West Midnapore), April 19: Clashes erupted in 10 villages around Parihati in Jamboni block last night after the CPM failed to file nominations for three gram panchayats in the face of stiff opposition from the dominant Jharkhand Party (Naren Hansda faction).
Jamboni is the only block in West Bengal where the CPM has not been able to field its nominees. The two parties have been at daggers drawn since the last panchayat polls, when the ruling Left lost most of the seats there to the Jharkhand Party.
About 40 activists from both parties were injured in the nightlong clashes with bows, arrows and improvised guns.
Jhargram sub-divisional officer Ganesh Chowdhury said 12 persons have been arrested till late this afternoon and raids were on to capture the others involved in the violence.
Trouble broke out last evening when Jharkhand Party supporters assembled at the Parihati More and burnt a CPM flag to celebrate its inability to put up candidates for three gram panchayats in Kapgari and Darsha villages ó all Jharkhand Party strongholds.
In retaliation, CPM workers burnt their rivalís flags in neighbouring Hatpara, a leftist stronghold. The tension kept building up and soon clashes between the rivals broke out in adjoining villages of Nachanguri, Bijra Bandh, Parihati, Hatpara Dharsha, Dumuria.