Four persons were killed in separate incidents of violence in different parts of the State on Sunday.
A blood donation camp at Habra in West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas district turned into the site of a bloodbath where two persons were killed and several others injured when a group of armed miscreants opened indiscriminate fire.
Violence was also reported from other parts of the State as Ahsan Ali, a local leader of the Congress, was killed in a clash between supporters of his party and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) at Moulani in Uttar Dinajpur district and Musharaff Khan and a CPI(M) Zilla Parishad member was shot dead at Canning in South 24 Parganas in the morning.
Asked by journalists to comment on the violence raging in the State, the Union Finance Minister, Pranab Mukherjee, who was here in the city, hoped that the State government takes steps to ensure peace and that political parties act with restraint.
At Habra, Bappa Chowdhury and Ranjit Roy died on the spot when they were shot at by armed miscreants, who also lobbed shells on the crowds. Several people were injured, the district’s Superintendent of Police Rahul Srivastav told The Hindu.
Angry locals retaliated by setting two vehicles on fire and ransacking the local hospital, where the victims had been taken. Agitators even clashed with the police that reached the spot to bring the situation under control.
The incident was given a political twist as Bappa Chowdhury and Ranjit Roy were local leaders of the Congress and the Trinamool, respectively. Supporters of the party allege that the attackers were goons of the CPI (M).
“The blood-donation camp was organised by Kanchan Ghosh, a former Trinamool councillor of the Habra municipality and a large number of supporters of both the Trinamool and the Congress were present,” said Partha Chatterjee, the Leader of the Opposition in the West Bengal Assembly and a senior leader of the Trinamool .
“The Congress has called for a 12-hour bandh in the area protesting the incident and we shall be observing a black-day on Monday,” Mr. Chatterjee added.
Senior district leader of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), Amitava Nandy, said the violence was the result of a local feud between supporters of the Congress and the Trinamool. The police, however, refused to comment on whether the attack was politically motivated.
“We cannot confirm the victims’ political affiliations as the investigations into the incident are in the preliminary stages,” Mr. Srivastav said.