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Congress worker shot dead in West Bengal, two others critical

Congress block president Asok Roy alleged that Trinamool supporters opened fire. Ruling party MLA Hamidul Rahaman denied the charges.

india Updated: Nov 05, 2018 00:04 IST
Pramod Giri
Pramod Giri
Hindustan Times, Siliguri
Congerss worker shot dead,Lakipur,West Bengal
In May, panchayat polls in Bengal were marred by violent clashes, which have continued over formation of panchayat boards.(PTI File Photo)

A 42-year-old Congress worker was killed and two others were critically injured when ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) workers allegedly fired on them in West Bengal’s North Dinajpur district on Sunday. The TMC rubbished the allegation.

Mohammad Samiruddin, along with other Congress supporters, was going to Lakhipur market in Chopra when they were attacked. “Trinamool supporters opened fire on our men,” Congress block president Asok Roy alleged.

Samiruddin, a father of four, died on his way to hospital while another Congress worker was admitted to North Bengal Medical College and Hospital with a critical injury. Both of them were shot in the chest. Another man was admitted to an Islampur hospital with a bullet injury.

Hamidul Rahaman, TMC MLA from Chopra, denied the allegation against his party’s workers. “The Congress, BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) and CPM (Communist Party of India-Marxist) have joined forces to unleash a reign of terror in Lakhipur,” he alleged.

“Though we won all the 16 seats in Lakhipur gram panchayat, our elected members have not been allowed to enter the panchayat office although the board was formed around 45 days ago.” Rahaman accused the Congress, BJP and CPM supporters of roaming around with firearms. “They are not even letting police enter the village.”

At least two dozen people were killed as violence had marred the panchayat polls in West Bengal in May.

The violence has continued over the formation of panchayat boards at separate places across Bengal five months after the TMC swept the polls.

Trinamool units across Bengal were accused of using violence to win seats during the three-phase polls.

“They used the same methods at Lakhipur and did not allow counting of votes,” alleged Roy.

“They forcibly took control of all the seats and local people who voted against Trinamool got angry. They are not allowing Trinamool’s elected members to enter the panchayat office,” said Roy.

Chopra is one of the few blocks in Bengal, where Congress still has the strength to retaliate against Trinamool, said a local Congress leader who did not want to be named.

Unconfirmed reports said villagers did not allow a police team to enter Lakhipur and additional forces had to be sent after the violence on Sunday.

Uttar Dinajpur police superintendent Sumit Kumar said, “There was a clash between two groups. One person died and two were injured. Seven men have been detained,” he said. “Situation in Lakhipur is under control and sufficient policemen have been deployed to maintain law and order.”

First Published: Nov 05, 2018 00:03 IST