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Splash of blood in election aftermath

May 11: Six people were killed and many more injured in a spiral of violence since polling came to a close in the state.

A clash between CPM and Trinamul Congress supporters at Sasan in Barasat, North 24-Parganas, claimed two lives. Bombs and bullets rained heavy in the battle between rival party workers that started around 11 pm and continued till this morning.

Additional superintendent of police, Barasat, Partha Sarathi Ghosh said seven people were injured. Two of them — Sanat Ghosh, 35, a CPM gram panchayat member of Sasan and Rampada Ghosh, a local committee member of the party — succumbed to injuries.

Transport minister Subhas Chakraborty visited the scene of the clash. “I shall see to it that such incidents do not recur,” he said. Before he joined the CPM, Sanat was an active member of Trinamul.

In Murshidabad, 38-year-old Congress leader Kalu Sheikh was murdered by alleged CPM workers at Jalangi’s Gouripur village. Several houses were ransacked. The police picked up 26 people to scale down tension.

A police officer described Sheikh’s murder as a sequel to the death of a CPM supporter in a clash that erupted minutes after voting stopped.

Workers of both the parties fired from improvised guns and hurled bombs during the clash in which CPM supporter Momin Mondal and Congress’ Mozammel were wounded.

Both were admitted to hospital where Momin died. As the news reached Gouripur, Kalu Sheikh was attacked.

Prangobinda Haldar, a schoolteacher who bore witness to the incident, said Kalu Sheikh was attacked with sharp weapons while he was washing his face early in the morning. “He tried to save himself by taking shelter in neighbour Kasem Sheikh’s house. But the attackers went after him, dragged him out and hacked him to death. They also looted a number of houses in the locality,” Haldar said.

Shyamali Khatun, 13, a Class VII student injured by a bomb lobbed by suspected CPM workers yesterday at Srikrishnapur village in Murshidabad’s Domkol, died today. Shyamali had gone near a booth out of curiosity.

A Congress worker was killed at Bazitpur village in Behrampore. District superintendent of police Gyanwant Singh said 26 people have been arrested in connection with poll violence. “We had to fire two rounds in the air to disperse a violent crowd and post pickets in some areas to maintain peace,” he said.

In Purulia, Congress workers blocked national highway 32 at Balarampur, about 320 km from Calcutta, after a party supporter was found dead on the roadside this morning. Deben Mahato, 35, worked as a night guard at an iron scrap godown.

A police officer said “he died from a wound on his head” but could not confirm if the attack was political.

Six people had died across the state on the eve of the elections, sparking fears of a bloody polling day.

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