Death toll rises to five as political violence continues in Bengal over Panchayat Board formation

After reports of rampant violence that plagued ‘panchayat elections’ in Bengal, a BJP worker died at a hospital in Bengal’s Purulia district on Monday night, taking the total number of people killed in political violence to five since August 25. Two BJP workers lost their lives due to the unabated violence that continues in various districts of West Bengal over the formation of panchayat board.

Purulia has become a hotbed for clashes between the Trinamool Congress and the BJP in the state. Damador Mondal (58) was injured in a clash that occurred at Joypur village in Purulia, following which he was rushed to the Deben Mahato hospital in a critical condition. Another BJP worker died instantly due to a bullet injury allegedly due to police firing, namely Niranjan Gope (28).

The violence that took place over the formation of boards meant to run rural bodies began on Saturday. While a Trinamool Congress (TMC) worker died that day, the ruling party and the BJP lost two supporters each in clashes that broke out across Purulia and Malda districts.

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BJP alleges that TMC goons were waiting outside the Panchayat office on Monday as the winning candidates tried to enter the office.  Bombs were hurled outside the Panchayat Building in Chodpadi, which falls under Raghunathpur Panchayat Samiti, Purulia.

BJP district leader Vivek Ranga accused the police administration of colluding with the TMC and held them responsible for the death of Niranjan Gope and the injury sustained by six other BJP workers from Police firing.

Police authorities denied the charges of made by BJP, District police superintendent Akash Magharia stated :

“We only fired in the air to control the situation. Our own personnel was injured in the violence. We are investigating the circumstances surrounding Damodar Mondal’s death,”

Sporadic violence was also reported to form Deganga, north 24 Parganas, and Khejura also. It is worth mentioning that TMC has not won any seats in Khejura and allegedly the Panchayat office is captured by TMC workers.


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