Supporters of CPI(M) and Trinamool Congress clashed and EVMS were destroyed at several places on Sunday during civic elections in West Bengal,with 75 per cent turnout recorded in the first electoral faceoff between the rivals after the ruling Left's debacle in Lok Sabha polls.
Election was was held to 16 municipalities, spread over 10 districts, with nine of them under Left control.
IGP (Law and Order) Raj Kanojia said that 16 persons were arrested -- seven from North 24-Parganas district, six from Burdwan district and three others from South 24-Parganas district.
CPI-M and Trinamool Congress workers exploded bombs after an EVM machine was destroyed at Ward No Five allegedly by the Left party candidate and his henchmen in North 24-Parganas.
Voting was suspended for sometime as a police burst tear gas shells and used batons to disperse the clashing groups. The violence spread to other wards where CPI-M and Trinamool activists indulged in pitched battles and exploded bombs to scare away rival supporters.
Stray violence also occurred at Heerapur near Asansol in Burdwan district, Siliguri and South Dum Dum in North 24-Parganas district where EVMs were smashed. However, no causalty was reported.
An estimated 75 per cent votes were cast in the elections, state Election Commissioner Meera Pandey said.