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2 injured in firing, finger at CPM

Malda, March 25: A 38-year-old man and his nephew, both Trinamul supporters, were injured when alleged CPM-sheltered goons barged into their house, ransacked it and opened fire in a Kaliachak village this morning.

Haren Mondol and his nephew Ramen Mondol, 19, have been admitted to the Malda Medical College and Hospital. Ramen, who appeared for the Higher Secondary exams this year, was shot in his left arm, while his uncle suffered a bullet injury in his left leg.

Haren said he and his family members had stopped supporting the Congress and switched allegiance to the Trinamul Congress after last year’s rural polls. He said local CPM leaders had been asking the family of seven to support them and today’s attack was carried out by men sent by the party.

According to police, an armed gang attacked the house of Haren, a farmer, in Jaluadhabal gram panchayat around 9am.

Haren and Ramen were the only people in the house at the time of the attack. After the incident, Haren lodged an FIR against 15 people with Kaliachak police.

“We were being asked by local CPM leaders to support their party. This morning, my two sons and my brother had gone to the fields. The women in the family had gone to fetch water. Only Ramen and I were at home. Around 9am, a gang of 15-20 men armed with guns, choppers and iron rods attacked the house. They began ransacking the house and firing indiscriminately. I was shot in the leg. When my nephew rushed to my rescue, he was shot in the arm,” Haren said from the hospital bed. “By then, our neighbours had raised the alarm and the gang members left firing in the air. They were all CPM-sheltered criminals.”

Kaliachak is 35km from here.

Malda Trinamul president Sabitri Mitra alleged that the CPM was behind the attack. “The CPM has lost ground in the district and they (the leaders) are desperate to regain their hold. They have been spreading terror. I demand arrest of the guilty,” she said.

The CPM district committee secretary, Ambar Mitra, said the incident was a result of faction fight in Trinamul. “The village is in Jaluadhabal gram panchayat area. Last year, Trinamul captured the panchayat by using muscle power. The CPM has no base there. The incident is a fallout of factionalism in Trinamul,” he said.

Malda police chief Rajesh Yadav said: “We are investigating. Fifteen people have been named in an FIR. We are looking for them.”