Five persons were arrested from the troubled Mangalkot area of West Bengal’s Bardhaman district on Tuesday with explosives.

They were allegedly planning to hand over the explosives to miscreants for spreading violence in the area which has seen repeated clashes between the CPI(M) and the Trinamool Congress after the killing of a local CPI(M) leader in July 2009. According to a senior district police official who spoke to The Hindu on condition of anonymity, three persons were coming to Mangalkot with explosives in a car from Nanoor in the neighbouring Birbhum district.

“Acting on a tip-off, the police stopped the car at Chaitanyapur and a bag of explosives, weighing about 36 kg, was recovered from them. The three men were arrested on the spot. Later, two others who were about to receive the consignment were also arrested based on the information given by the three,” the police official said.

Asked about reports which alleged that they were Trinamool supporters, the police said it was “yet to be established.”

Senior Trinamool Congress leader and Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly, Partha Chatterjee, said he was not aware of any such arrest.

The Mangalkot area has been in the news since last August following clashes between supporters of the Trinamool Congress and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the subsequent attack on a team of the State’s Congress Legislature Party allegedly by CPI(M) supporters.

A turf battle is continuing in the area since then. The police had recovered 16 bags of country-made bombs from the area last week after another round of confrontation between the CPI(M) and the Trinamool.