Panchayat poll violence has taken an ugly turn in West Bengal. RSP minister Subhas Naskar’s relative succumbed to burn injuries on Friday after bombs were thrown at her Basanti residence in South 24 Parganas, allegedly by CPI(M) supporters.
The house, a portion of which was destroyed in the attack on Thursday, belongs to state irrigation minister Subhas Naskar.
The minister’s nephew's wife, Gouri Naskar, 37 was seriously injured. She died of 80 per cent burns. The RSP alleged that the CPM cadres bombed the house. However, the CPM denied the charge, and said Naskar had stacked the bombs in the house.
South 24 Parganas SP Praveen Kumar said CID and forensic experts would check if the bombs had been stored in Naskar's house. The attack came a day after Wednesday’s panchayat poll in the district. The day also saw violent clashes between CPM and RSP workers, in which four persons were killed.
“The time has come to question the necessity of the Left Front. After being in power for more than three decades, allies are being subjected to atrocities of the kind Left workers suffered during the Congress government headed by Siddhartha Shankar Ray. These are dark days for democracy” said senior RSP leader Manoj Bhattacharya.
Biman Bose, state CPM secretary has urged supporters of both parties to show restraint so that violence does not escalate.
The animosity between Left Front allies RSP and CPM has its roots in a 30-year battle to control villages in the district.
The clashes widened the rift between them, with the RSP preparing for a protracted battle. According to leaders in both camps, the clashes at Basanti were inevitable and that even the chief minister was aware of the simmering tension in the area.