More than 24 hours after one woman and two girls, Samsera Begum and Ansara Begum, students of class IX and X respectively, were injured when two groups of miscreants hurled bombs at each other in the Madanvita village under the Chopra police station in North Dinajpur district, police are yet to make arrests.

While the girls and the woman, Ayesha Khatun, underwent treatment in a local hospital, tension prevailed in the locality after the clash. Police, including the Rapid Action Force (RAF), are still patrolling the village.

CPI (M) leaders have alleged that the clash was between two groups of Trinamul Congress activists who fought over distribution of ‘cut money’ they had collected from the people. TMC leaders have, however, denied the allegation.

“A solar power project had been undertaken at Madanvita in Chopra a few months ago. The project cost of this unit was around Rs 80 crore, and a total of 10 MW of solar energy was proposed to be produced here every day. A local TMC leader was hired as a subcontractor for the project. Initially, the constructing agency engaged labourers from outside. Then the local people agitated, demanding the engagement of local labourers in the project, after which a committee was formed and local labourers were taken for the project,” a source said.

“The local labourers were supposed to be paid Rs 400 per day, but the constructing agency paid only Rs 200 instead. The project work is nearing completion, and the constructing agency, a few days back, allegedly provided Rs 4.10 lakh to a committee led by the local TMC leaders to distribute the amount among the local labourers. However, this money was not given to them. Another section of TMC leaders then raided the houses of the other section at around 9 p.m. on Tuesday, demanding the labourers’ payment after which the clash started between the two groups. Both groups hurled bombs at each other,” the source added.

The secretary of the North Dinajpur CPI (M) committee, Apurba Paul, said that they had heard that some TMC members had received ‘cut money’ from the constructing agency.

“Two groups of TMC activists clashed and hurled bombs at each other in which three innocent women were injured. We have demanded the police arrest the attackers soon,” he said.

The president of the North Dinajpur TMC committee, Kanaiyalal Agarwal, however, said they did not see any ‘cut money’ in the matter. “It was a clash between two groups of locals. CPI (M) is trying to give it a political colour,” he said. The Superintendent of Police of Islampur Police District, Sachin Makkar, said that they are yet to ascertain the actual reason for the clash. “No one has been arrested yet, and police are patrolling the village. We have started investigations,” he said.