Boy, Trinamool worker killed as ‘party infighting’ turns violent in West Bengal
Two persons, including a nine-year-old school kid, were killed and more than 10 injured in clashes and gun-battle allegedly between two factions of Trinamool Congress at Basanti in South 24 Parganas district of West Bengal on Thursday afternoon.
Riyazul Mollah (9) reportedly suffered a bullet shot on his chest after being caught in the crossfire between the two factions while he was returning home from school on Thursday afternoon.
Trinamool activist, Hasan Laskar (35) has also been reportedly killed after being shot, although his body is yet to be recovered till Friday morning.
“Police have arrested seven persons so far in this connection. Huge police contingent has been deployed in the area to prevent recurrence of violence,” said additional director general ((law & order), Anuj Sharma.
Another police officer, deployed in the area, said that around 400 rounds of used cartridges have been recovered from the area where the clash took place on Thursday evening.
On Friday morning, the situation continued to be tense. Most of the shops, schools and other offices remained shut. Some locals also staged a protest, demanding immediate arrest and action against those who caused the killing of the boy.
While top Trinamool leaders were tight-lipped, locals claimed that Thursday’s violence was a fallout of the infighting between Trinamool factions of Canning (East) MLA, Saokat Mollah and Gosaba MLA, Jayanta Naskar.
Both Naskar and Mollah denied involvement in the clash.
Mollah described the incident as power tussle between two groups of anti-socials who had no connection with Trinamool.
However, Naskar blatantly blamed Mollah for the violence. “It is Mollah and Mollah alone who is the root of the trouble,” Naskar said. However, despite repeated attempts by this correspondent, Trinamool MLA from Basanti, Gobinda Naskar could not be reached as his mobile was switched off.
The incident is a clear indication that repeated warnings by Trinamool supremo and state chief minister, Mamata Banerjee, that she would not tolerate factionalism and infighting, has gone unheeded by party leaders who are eager to establish their supremacy in their localities.
Trinamool secretary general and state education minister, Partha Chatterjee, said a probe has been ordered into the matter on Mamata’s orders.
“If anyone within the party is involved, he will not be spared and the party will not hesitate to take strong disciplinary action against him,” he said.