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Three injured in poll graffiti clash

Malda, March 17: Three Congress workers suffered bullet injuries this morning during a clash with alleged Trinamul Congress supporters over writing poll graffiti on walls in a village near Kaliachak.

The injured persons were admitted to the Malda Medical College and Hospital.

Two persons, including last year’s Trinamul candidate for Banitola gram panchayat, have been arrested.

Police said the clash broke out around 9am when a group of Congress workers was writing graffiti for South Malda candidate Abu Hasem Khan Chowdhury. “The Congress workers were writing on a wall near the Trinamul office in Babla when Trinamul supporters objected to it. An argument broke out that led to a clash. We have information that Trinamul workers retreated into their party office and fired indiscriminately injuring three persons,” said a police source.

Babla is 25km from here.

Malda Congress president and sitting MP from North Malda, Mausam Noor, said a bullet had hit the right knee of Humayun Momin, 28, while Tezul Sheikh, 30, had been shot in the waist. Farukh Alam, 28, suffered bullet injury in the waist and chest.

“All three are active workers of our party and Trinamul supporters fired at them indiscriminately. We demand their arrest. Trinamul is aware that they are losing ground and that is why they are resorting to violence to create terror among our workers and supporters. They are not going to succeed,” she said.

The Trinamul leadership has denied the allegation.

Sabitri Mitra, Malda district president of the party, said: “Our workers protested when the Congress supporters were writing slogans on a wall that had been occupied by us. They beat us up and our party office was ransacked and a motorcycle set on fire. The Congress knows that it cannot win and is creating trouble.”

Malda police superintendent Rajesh Yadav said: “Two persons, Ilias Sheikh, 25, and Syed Ali, 28, have been arrested. The reason behind the clash is being investigated.”

Ali had contested the panchayat polls as a Trinamul candidate last year and lost.