2 killed in clash ahead of panchayat elections in West Bengal
Kolkata: Two persons were killed in West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas district on Wednesday when a clash broke out during a rally organized by the Trinamool Congress to celebrate the party’s uncontested victory in some seats in the upcoming gram panchayat elections.
The party alleged that opposition parties such as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Congress had joined forces to launch an attack on the rally. The opposition parties denied this, saying that the clash took place due to an internal feud within the Trinamool Congress.
A key TMC leader from the region, Safiar Rahman Mondal, aged around 45, was stabbed during the victory celebrations, following which party workers retaliated and lynched the attacker identified by the police as Rajiv Ali.
C. Sudhakar, superintendent of police of the district, confirmed the killings but declined to comment further pending investigation.
In the North 24 Parganas district, the TMC has won at least 16 panchayat samiti seats and one zilla parishad seat uncontested, according to Jyotipriyo Mullick, a leader of the party and a minister in the state. He alleged the attacker was earlier a Communist Party of India (Marxist), or CPM, worker who lately enjoyed the support of all opposition parties.
Dilip Ghosh, the BJP’s state president in West Bengal, said the opposition parties had nothing to do with the attack.