Bhatar (Burdwan), May 7: An argument between Trinamul Congress and CPM supporters at a political meeting in Nasigram here last night triggered a clash that left two activists — one from each party — dead and four injured.
The incident generated such anger that a sub-inspector was beaten up when a police team arrived at the spot and tried to retrieve the bodies. Five rounds had to be fired in the air to disperse the mob.
The tension simmering in the area since Trinamul, which is in charge of the Nasigram-Barbeloon panchayat, failed to file a single nomination for the 12-member body this time giving the CPM a walkover boiled over when activists of Mamata Banerjee’s party dropped in at a CPM supporters’ meeting last night.
Police said during an angry exchange of words, a Trinamul supporter hurled a bomb, killing local CPM leader Sailen Majhi and injuring his comrades, Madhu Bagh and Bipadtaran Mondol.
The CPM supporters retaliated by lynching Trinamul functionary Radhanath Roy. The mob also beat his 80-year-old father, Lakshminarayan, and brother, Sambhu, senseless.
When a police team from the Bhatar police station arrived at the spot, the mob turned on them and battered sub-inspector Abhijit Chatterjee, who had to be admitted to Burdwan Medical College and Hospital.
Angry villagers confronted district police superintendent B.N. Ramesh when he came in the morning and told him that police inaction led to the attack.
“We are setting up a police camp with an inspector in charge so that no more violence takes place during the elections and we are conducting raids to nab the culprits responsible for the deaths. Police recovered 15 crude bombs, an improvised gun and three live rounds of ammunition from the house of Sambhu Roy,” Ramesh said. He, however, denied that the police had to fire in the air.
Local CPM leader Bijoy Roy said Radhanath, who was lynched, had come with a chopper close to where the meeting was going on. “Our boys asked him to go away, but he returned a few minutes later and burst three bombs, killing Sailen on the spot,” he said. When Radhanath tried to flee, the villagers caught him and beat him up.
Trinamul panchayat member Samir Roy contradicted Bijoy and said Radhanath was lynched when he protested against CPM activists teasing women labourers. “The men were torturing the women who were working in the fields of Ratnakar Roy, our supporter,” Samir said. He added that the CPM had threatened his partymen with dire consequences if they filed nominations.