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Parties clash, loot & trade charges

Calcutta, Aug. 17: At least 30 people were injured when armed CPM and SUCI supporters clashed in South 24-Parganas today. Several houses were ransacked and clashing mobs tried to set them ablaze, says a staff reporter.

Police moved in to quell the fight but Nalgara in Kultali, about 70 km from the city, continued to be tense. No arrests had been made till late evening. A worried Sunderbans development minister Kanti Ganguly, also the local MLA, visited the scene of violence and Raidighi rural hospital, where some of the injured had been admitted.

Trouble erupted around 8 am during a meeting of village elders, comprising both SUCI and CPM supporters. About 500 men attacked those present at the meeting with iron rods and bamboo sticks. SUCI MLA from Joynagar Debaprasad Sarkar said members of his party were at the meeting to sort out a dispute. “But the CPM cadre attacked without provocation. Even women were not spared.” The CPM blamed the SUCI for the bloodshed.

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