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Two BJP men killed in Purulia violence

Statesman News Service | Purulia | Updated :

Two BJP supporters Niranjan Gope and Damodar Mondal were killed during a firing at Ghaghra gram panchayat under Joypur police station limits, while another BJP gram panchayat winning candidate, Aditya Mondal, suffered a bullet injury in Khajuri gram panchayat within Raghunathpur police station area here on Monday.

In another separate incident, an ASI of Saturi police station, Narayan Mukherjee, suffered a head injury after BJP supporters allegedly hurled bricks at him in Muraddi. The formation of gram panchayat boards in Purulia has started and will continue till 31 August. From 1 September to 6 September, the formation of panchayat samities will take place and from 10 to 13 September, the board of zilla parishad.

The biggest incident occurred in Ghaghra gram panchayat on Monday, where BJP has won 8 seats and TMC got 4, out of total 12 seats. The TMC and BJP supporters clashed with each other after the police claimed that the caste certificate provided by one BJP candidate was fake.

Police first fired in the air to disperse both the groups during which first one person was killed and six others were injured. Later, another BJP supporter succumbed to his bullet injuries.

Niranjan Gope was the BJP winning candidate of Ghaghra gram panchayat. The other six members were taken to nearby Joypur block primary health centre for treatment.

In Muraddi, there has been a tie between BJP and TMC and on Monday after cross voting, TMC formed the board. The agitated BJP supporters ransacked the panchayat office and hurled stones and bricks, injuring the ASI of Saturi police station.

TMC has lost all the seats in Khajuri and on Monday some miscreants enterted the house of Afitya Modan and fired at him. Throughout Raghunathpur sub-division on Monday, there have been reports of firing and bombing. The photographer of a Bengali news channel also suffered a bullet injury.

Both TMC minister Shantiram Mahato and BJP district president Vidyasagar Chakraborty blamed each other for the massive violence during panchayat board formation in Purulia district. Police superintendent of Purulia Akash Megharia was not available for his comments.

Expressing her concern over the incidents of violence in regard to formation of panchayat boards, chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday threatened action against Trinamul Congress leaders for their involvement and urged all political parties to maintain peace.

Miss Banerjee is learnt to have expressed her anger at the incidents of violence and said that action will be taken against party leaders who are involved in such incidents.

She reportedly pulled up minister Jyotipriya Mullick, who is North 24-Parganas district president of the ruling party over his failure to handle the incident of violence that erupted in Deganga.

She is learnt to have asked ministers to remain in their respective districts till the formation of the rural boards and to ensure that such incidents do not happen. “I would urge everybody to maintain peace. Whatever incident has happened is unfortunate. I do not support it. No matter which party worker dies, it is unfortunate.

“I’ve heard that police were attacked in many places. In fact, there was direct confrontation as well. In Purulia incident, a police personnel was seriously injured. People cast their votes and elected their representatives. I do not understand why there is so much controversy over board formation. I would request everyone to take ahead the process peacefully,” said Miss Banerjee before leaving the state secretariat.

Miss Banerjee said that panchayat polls and formation of the three-tier bodies are local matters. “What is the need to do so much competition over formation of a rural body? Why have goons been brought?” she said.

Deliberating on the interference of central forces, Miss Banerjee said she has received complaints against CRPF in West Midnapore. “Let me get the evidence. Law and order is state subject and Centre cannot interfere in it. It has been noticed that some central agencies are distributing Rudraksh along with RSS but it is to be remembered that through such activities, the character of the institutions get damaged. Our institutions are our pride. Be it Bengal Police or Delhi Police, both are our pride,” she said, adding that both, central forces and state forces, should work within their jurisdictions as per their respective laws.

She said that such incidents do not occur during Lok Sabha or Assembly polls. But at the panchayat level, sometimes personal enmity works, she added.