Fresh violence erupted in West Bengal's East Midnapore district on Thursday as a Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) office and two communist leaders' homes were ransacked, allegedly by Trinamool Congress supporters, police said.
"We've got reports that a party office and the houses of two CPI-M leaders were ransacked by a group of villagers at Kamarda area near Khejuri. We've arrested altogether 14 people (today) in connection with the incident," East Midnapore police chief Pallav Kanti Ghosh said.
He said: "The situation is now under control. No one has been injured in the attack."
Expressing concern over the situation, CPI-M strongman and former Tamluk MP Laxman Seth said Trinamool Congress activists had driven out CPI-M supporters from Khejuri.
"The situation is grave. Our party leaders are being driven out by Trinamool Congress activists. One of our party offices in Khejuri was also looted by irate Trinamool supporters," Seth told reporters here.
Khejuri, about 160 km from here, is traditionally known as a CPI-M stronghold.
Seth was defeated by his arch-rival, Trinamool Congress candidate Subhendu Adhikari, in the Lok Sabha elections.
Adhikari denied the allegations, saying: "The Trinamool Congress had no role in that incident. It was the common people of Khejuri who ransacked the party office and the house of two CPI-M leaders.
"We'll take out a peace rally Friday in Khejuri urging people to stop this violence against each other. It was the CPI-M who created the difference between Khejuri and Nandigram. To us, there's no distinction between these two regions."
Khejuri is witnessing violence in recent days. The Trinamool Congress had called for 12-hour shutdown Tuesday and many houses and CPI-M offices were ransacked and set ablaze by irate villagers that day.
Five state ministers, on their way to Khejuri, were also stopped by Trinamool supporters and not allowed to set foot in the area.