The elections are long over but post-poll violence between the two main political parties in West Bengal refuses to die down.
The ‘cleansing operation’ launched by the Trinamool Congress on May 24 in three districts of south Bengal — where it won all the Lok Sabha seats — is alive and kicking. Thursday too saw clashes between cadres of the two sides.
The trouble dates back to the battle for Nandigram in East Midnapore district in 2007, when the Left Front government decided to allow an Indonesian firm to set up a chemical hub in Nandigram. That led to an armed resistance by the villagers, backed by the Trinamool.
The main trouble spot has since shifted to Khejuri, a village separated by a canal from Nandigram, about 70 km southwest of Kolkata. Khejuri was allegedly used by CPM cadre in 2007 as a launching pad for attacks on Nandigram, occupied by the Trinamool.
On Thursday, Trinamool supporters continued to ‘cleanse’ Khejuri of arms collected by the CPM. They also set fire to two CPM party offices and ransacked the homes of several of its leaders.
In view of the continuing attacks, the police have shifted CPM supporters who’d taken shelter at the local police station to an undisclosed destination. The administration announced that five police camps would be set up in the area.
The Trinamool has till now managed to recover a huge cache of arms and bombs.
Blood has been spilt too. In Hooghly’s Arambagh subdivision, a CPM leader was hacked to death four days ago.
In Bongaon on the Indo-Bangladesh border in North 24 Parganas, a Trinamool leader was shot dead, allegedly by CPM men. Trinamool workers retaliated by lynching a local CPM leader.