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Trinamul faction bullet hits boy

- Ruling party leader lodges FIR against rivals after fight over Rathyatra fair

Tamluk, July 8: A bullet allegedly fired at an East Midnapore Trinamul leader by suspected members of a rival faction grazed the skull of a 16-year-old boy having chow mein with his friend at a village fair last night.

Doctors at the private hospital in Calcutta where Dipak Sahu is admitted said the Class X student’s condition was “critical but stable”.

The younger brother of Dipak’s maternal grandfather, Indubhushan Giri, lodged a police complaint last night, naming 17 Trinamul workers.

Among those named by Indubhushan, the deputy chief of the local Trinamul-run Amtolia panchayat, are Kashiram Das, whose wife is a party member of the rural body, and Jahidul Daftari, another member of the same gram panchayat.

The police have arrested two persons so far. Kashiram and Jahidul have fled their homes.

According to Indubhushan, the ruling party had been battling factional feud in the village over the control of a Rathyatra committee, which organised the fair where Dipak was hit by the bullet.

The Trinamul leader said Kashiram and Jahidul controlled one faction while Khokan Jana, another party leader, led the other group.

“Last night, Kashiram and his men had gone to the fair to kill Khokan. They fired at him but the bullet hit my grandson,” Indubhushan said.

Khokan could not be contacted.

Dipak’s classmate Sagar Sahu, who had accompanied him to the fair, said: “We were having chow mein at a food stall. I didn’t hear any sound but saw Dipak slump to the ground. He was bleeding from his head.”

An unconscious Dipak was taken to Contai sub-divisional hospital, from where he was referred to a Calcutta facility.

Dipak’s relatives in Calcutta admitted him to the private hospital, where he underwent a surgery to set right his fractured skull.

“The bullet grazed the left side of his skull, causing a fracture. A surgery was done to mend it. But the grazing has caused a haemorrhage in his brain, which is being treated by medicine. If that does not work, the doctors might perform another surgery,” an official of the Calcutta hospital said.

According to sources, Kashiram and Jahidul were CPI supporters but joined Trinamul before the panchayat polls last year.

Mahmud Hossain, a Trinamul general secretary, said: “They had been hobnobbing with the CPM and last night, they tried to kill Khokan with the help of CPM cadres.”

The CPM’s working secretary, Prasanta Pradhan, denied the allegation that workers of the Left party were involved.

East Midnapore police chief S.K. Jain said: “We have arrested two persons. We are looking for the others.”

Around 5,000 villagers took out a procession in Amtolia today to protest the firing at the fair. Some of them raided the house of Kashiram and set it on fire.

Lady killed

A widow in Nadia was killed when she was caught between two groups clashing with bombs and bullets this evening. The police said Mami Bewa, a weaver, had come out of her house hearing the gunshots and was hit on the forehead by a bullet. She died on the spot.

A resident requesting anonymity said members of the two groups often clashed with each other following tussles over drinking sessions in a field.