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Violence on eve of crucial phase

Special Correspondent
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CPI (M), Congress allege assault by Trinamool Congress activists

Up in arms:Members of the women wings of the Left parties lay seige to the Kolkata police headquarters on Sunday. —Photo: Sushanta Patronobish
Up in arms:Members of the women wings of the Left parties lay seige to the Kolkata police headquarters on Sunday. —Photo: Sushanta Patronobish

A day before 17 Lok Sabha constituencies go to polls, several instances of violence were reported on Sunday. Many political activists were assaulted and injured in parliamentary seats spread across districts. Polling for the fifth and final phase of elections in West Bengal will be held on Monday. The Trinamool Congress (TMC) had won 14 out of the 17 Lok Sabha seats here while two seats went to its allies and the Left Front had won only one seat in 2009.

Violence was reported in the Kolkata North constituency where a local committee secretary of Cossipore Kalyan Samaddar was hospitalised after being attacked. “A gang of Trinamool Congress goons attacked me while I had gone out to buy medicine,” an injured Samajdar said on his way to the hospital.

In another incident, the Congress candidate in the Chakdaha assembly seat by-poll in Nadia district, Samarlal Singha Roy, alleged that he was assaulted by Trinamool activists.

Earlier on Saturday, several CPI (M) activists, including its youth wing DYFI State president Sayandip Mitra, were injured after being attacked allegedly by Trinamool workers at Belgharia in North 24 Parganas district. CPI (M) State secretary Biman Bose said that the Trinamool Congress attacked the CPI (M) workers at the behest of State’s Transport Minister Madan Mitra.

Mr. Bose alleged that Trinamool activist had attacked the office and when the CPI (M) leaders were returning after filing a police complaint, they attacked them with an intention to kill.

The CPI (M) had called for protests on Sunday but it was withdrawn as five persons were arrested in connection with the incident.

Trinamool Congress Minister Jyotiriya Mullick denied the attacks by TMC activists and said that the CPI (M) activists entered into an altercation with the locals.

Later in the day, members of the women wings of the Left parties laid siege to the Kolkata police headquarters demanding that the police make arrangements to ensure free and fair polls.

Berhampore Lok Sabha constituency in Murshidabad district where Congress MP and Union Minister Adhir Ranajan Chowdhury is contesting to retain his seat also remained tense. Mr. Chowdhury’s convoy was stopped at Saktipur in the district as Trinamool activists surrounded his vehicle shouting slogans. The police had to intervene to remove the protestors.

TMC candidate Indranil Sen alleged that he was attacked by Congress supporters. Meanwhile, there will be 150 polling booths in the Saltlake area in North 24 Parganas spread across 71 premises which will be completely managed by woman polling personnel. The Commission has also deployed 100 CCTV cameras to prevent any untoward incident in the women polling stations.

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