KOLKATA: In an event that has shocked entire West Bengal, which is currently grappling under political violence over formation of panchayat boards that has claimed 10 lives in the past five days, a three-year-old boy was shot in the head after his mother, a winning BJP candidate, joined Trinamool Congress over formation of panchayat board at Manikchak in Malda district of West Bengal on Thursday.
The condition of the boy is critical and he is undergoing surgery at Malda Medical College and Hospital. Sources revealed that BJP's winning candidate Putul Mondal had joined TMC to help the ruling party form the panchayat board at Manikchak gram panchayat in the district. Out of 10 seats of the gram panchayat, BJP had won 10 and TMC 8. However, Putul Mondal's joining of TMC equaled the seats won by the two parties to nine each, thus bringing a stalemate. As a result, armed assailants barged into her residence on Thursday afternoon and after verbal argument over her quitting BJP and joining TMC, opened fire at the three-year-old son of Putul Mondal.
"Putul Mondal won on BJP ticket but joined TMC. BJP workers shot at her son's head as retribution. The child is in ICU and is undergoing surgery. His condition is critical," TMC Malda district President Dulal Chandra Sarkar said. State BJP President Dilip Ghosh said: "If any BJP worker is involved in the incident, we will hand him over to the police and take in-party action but before that state government has to stop violence. Every life is important. We have lost many BJP workers right from filing of nomination for panchayat elections. We do politics not to get beaten up. We can't sit and get killed. I condemn this act but we cannot be blamed for this," he said.
Without naming BJP, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee hit out at the party saying: "Some people are marketing murder and terror as politics' new model. We want to stop that. "On the other hand, sporadic violence continued across the eight villages in Amdanga of North 24 Parganas district on Thursday which remained tense a day after three political activists were killed at point blank range and over 2,500 country bombs lobbed during CPM-TMC clashes over formation of panchayat boards.
Police continued recovery of unexploded bombs and cars entering the area were thoroughly searched on Thursday morning while bomb explosions were randomly heard in the afternoon and gunshots were heard as police surrounded a group of armed cadres suspected to be involved in the killings. However, only one person was detained.
Meanwhile, another TMC worker Khairul Haque succumbed to his injuries at North Bengal Medical College and Hospital in Siliguri on Wednesday evening after being injured in TMC-Congress clash in Uttar Dinajpur district on Tuesday, taking the total number of political activists killed over formation of panchayat boards across West Bengal over the past five days to 10.