Malbazaar town in Jalpaiguri district turned battlefield as alleged Trinamul Congress activists attacked and barred BJP workers from entering the Block Development Office for submission of nomination papers for the rural elections.

Trouble broke out in front of the Malbazaar Block office and soon spread to other areas, it is learnt. Apart from stopping BJP candidates from filing their nominations, the alleged Trinamul activists also demolished a temporary BJP party office and set it on fire at Tunibari in the block.

In protest against the incident, BJP activists blocked the road at Kranti More in Malbazaar, while a car belonging to the Trinamul was allegedly vandalized by BJP activists.

Police resorted to lathi-charge and fired teargas shells to disperse the unruly mob of both the political parties. Jalpaiguri Superintendent of Police Amitabha Maiti said the police have taken necessary steps to maintain law and order soon after the trouble broke out in Malbazaar.

State tourism minister Gautam Deb, however, claimed that Trinamul activists were not involved in the violence. “Trinamul activists did not bar them (opposition parties) from filing nomination papers, neither in Malbazaar nor other places. BJP activists fled the area after first creating violence,” he said.

“We want people to participate in the rural elections joyfully. Police have taken proper steps and are keeping a close tab on the situation,” he added.