Kolkata, April 9 (IANS) There was no let up in violence with two police personnel sustaining bullet wounds as the official deadline for filing nominations for the upcoming Panchayat polls came to an end in West Bengal on Monday. It was however subsequently extended by a day.
The opposition parties continued their protests accusing the ruling Trinamool Congress of “hooliganism” to stop their candidate s from filing their papers.
On the last date for filing of nominations, violent scenes were seen in Burdwan, Murshidabad, Malda, Hooghly and South 24 Parganas districts, as alleged Trinamool activists beat up candidates of opposition parties wishing to file their nomination papers.
Two police sub-inspectors got bullet injuries in Usti, and Magrahat – both in South 24 Parganas district – as they tried to prevent clashes.
Elsewhere in the same district, a police officer was mercilessly beaten up and thrown on to the ground by alleged Trinamool activists after he tried to save the daughter of a BJP nominee, who was being thrashed. Police let loose a baton charge and arrested five Trinamool workers.
Protesting after their leaders and workers were allegedly not allowed to enter the fray, the Communist Party of India-Marxist’s South 24 Parganas district committee organised a sit in demonstration in front of the State Election Commission office in Kolkata. The activists carried nomination papers, which, they alleged, could not be submitted at Block Development Offices and Sub-Divisional offices and SDO offices following “massive violence” by “goons” backed by the Trinamool.
Senior CPI-M leaders Sujan Chakraborty, Kanti Ganguly and Samik Lahiri led the demonstration demanding their candidates be allowed to submit nomination papers at the State Election Commission office itself.
A Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) delegation also reached the SEC office around 2 p.m. with the same demand.
Led by the CPI-M, a Left Front delegation met the Home Secretary and apprised him of the situation in the state.
Meanwhile, state Congress chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury accused the Trinamool of unleashing an “unprecedented scale of violence” in the state, and called it an “assault on Bengal’s democratic infrastructure”.
The three-phase Panchayat polls are slated to be held on May 1, 3 and 5.