Three Congress workers were killed ahead of Monday’s fourth phase of panchayat polls in four districts of West Bengal and at least 100 houses vandalised and looted in South 24-Parganas district on Sunday.
There was no let up in bombings, arson and clashes in the five-phased panchayat polls that began on July 11. While the fourth phase will be held on Monday, the final phase will be on July 25.
Police said two Congress workers Nurmohhamad Sheikh and Ahad Ali were killed after being hit by crude bombs late on Saturday night hurled by rival party workers at Kapasdanga in Murshidabad district, one of the four districts going to polls on Monday, the other three being Nadia, Birbhum and Malda.
Another Congress worker Repon Sheikh met a similar fate at Bharatpur in the same district during a clash between rival party supporters, police said.
The district also witnessed sporadic incidents of clash, including hurling of bombs and stone pelting, leaving several injured including two policemen in the Kapasdanga area.
Murshidabad district Congress spokesman Ashok Das alleged that his party workers were targeted by the ruling TMC with active help from CPI(M) cadres.
With today’s deaths, a total of 10 persons have lost their lives in the rural poll violence. Three persons were killed in the second phase of the poll and four were killed in the third phase.
A body was found at Diamond Harbour in South 24-Parganas district on Saturday, but it was not confirmed if the death was caused due to poll violence.
At least 100 houses belonging to RSP workers were vandalised and looted and 40 of them were set on fire allegedly by TMC workers at Basanti in South 24-Parganas district, police said.
Violence at Nirdeshkhali village in the same district also left a child injured. A large posse of policemen was deployed in the area.
17 TMC workers and supporters and four policemen were injured in a clash with RSP at Jharkhali yesterday. The injured were shifted to Kolkata, Basanti and Canning hospitals.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday appealed to the voters to exercise their franchise peacefully in the remaining two phases, accusing the CPI(M) of instigating people to indulge in violent acts.