Tension ran high at Sakpukur, in Budge Budge, in the southern part of the city, after a CPM party office was set ablaze, allegedly by Trinamul Congress workers, early on Thursday. A police picket has been posted to quell any further flare-up.
The incident occurred around 1.30 am, when about five youths set the party office ablaze after spraying it with petrol. According to a witness, the youths had their faces covered and all of them were armed. Before he could raise an alarm, the party office was ablaze and the youths had started fleeing. He identified two of the arsonists. The fire was doused by residents of the area.
Budge Budge police conducted raids, leading to the arrest of three persons.
Local CPM leader Ratan Bagchi said that Trinamul activists had been targeting the office for quite some time now. “Sakpukur is a haunt of the local goons backed by Trinamul. Our presence was cramping their activities,” Bagchi alleged.
However, Trinamul state general secretary Shakti Mondal denied his partymen were involved in the arson. “It was the handiwork of local hoodlums, with whom my party has no links. They are trying to tarnish the image of our party and malign us,” Mondal said.
Additional superintendent of police (industrial) R.K. Singh said the arrested youths were being interrogated for information on the others present at the time of the crime.