Cooch Behar, Aug. 11: Trinamul MLA Rabindranath Ghosh today locked the party office from where a panchayat pradhan operated after reports of clashes between the two sections.
Trouble had been brewing in the Suktabari gram panchayat, about 10km from Cooch Behar town, since Saturday.
Two groups of Trinamul supporters clashed with bombs and firearms.
One of the Trinamul activists, Badreddoja, lodged a complaint naming Sirajul Haq, the Suktabari gram panchayat pradhan, and others on Sunday regarding the previous day’s attack.
Around 11am today, Ghosh along with party leader Munna Khan, went to the Suktabari and locked up the party office from where Haq operated.
Without naming Haq, Ghosh said he had instructed the police to take stern action against those causing trouble in the area.
“A group of criminals has been spreading terror in the region. They are extorting money from traders, entering and looting houses. I have asked the police to stop all this,” Ghosh said. He did not explain why he had locked the party office.
“Our gram panchayat pradhan Sirajul Haq and his men are locked in a turf battle with the anchal president of the Trinamul, Hossain Ali. Ali is known to be close to Ghosh. Haq answers to our party’s district vice-president Abdul Jalil Ahmed. Both factions have separate party offices in Suktabari. Ghosh locked up the one from where Haq operates,” said a Trinamul worker of Suktabari.
According to the villagers, on Saturday evening, Ali and his men had brought out a rally in a show of strength. “Haq soon gathered his men and allegedly attacked houses of people who supported Ali,” a resident of Suktabari, who did not want to be named out of fear, said. Some of the houses were looted, the resident said.
Monwara Bewa, an aged lady, told Ghosh today: “Haq and his men attacked our house on Saturday. They held a knife to the throat of my daughter-in-law and threatened to kill her. They ransacked my son’s furniture shop in the market. Please help us.”
Abdul Jalil Ahmed denied factionalism in Trinamul. “There is no factionalism. I am in Calcutta. I will return to Cooch Behar and find out what is happening in Suktabari,” he said.
Cooch Behar police superintendent, Rajesh Kumar Yadav, said: “We have received a complaint about a clash in Suktabari on Saturday, we will take the appropriate action.”